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Participating In Clinical Trials

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Participating In Clinical Trials

Participating in a clinical trial or research study at University Health is voluntary. You are in charge of your treatment plan and can decide if the study is right for you. We will provide all the information you need to make a well-informed decision.

If you want to participate in a clinical trial, your healthcare provider must refer you to one. You might be confident that your physician has a reason to recommend you for a trial, or you may find a clinical trial and want to see if you would be a good candidate.

What To Consider Before Participating In a Clinical Trial

While deciding whether to participate, you might weigh the pros and cons of a clinical trial. Talking with your doctor and family about the risks and benefits will help you make a decision.

Why People Join

  • Hope of a personal therapeutic benefit
  • Confidence in their physician’s recommendation to join the trial
  • Hope of benefiting others
  • Having access to promising new approaches
  • Getting regular and careful medical attention from a team of health care professionals
  • Being one of the first people to benefit from a new medical method

Why People Don't Join

  • Fear of placebo or randomization of treatment
  • Trial is too far to travel
  • The new drugs being tested might not be better than the standard
  • New drugs might cause unanticipated side effects
  • Health insurance might not cover the cost
  • They might be asked to visit doctors more often than they want to

Questions To Ask Before Joining a Clinical Trial

Here are some questions you should ask before agreeing to participate in a clinical trial. Print a PDF of questions to ask before participating in a clinical trial.

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • Why do researchers believe the new treatment being tested may be effective? Has it been tested before?
  • What is the researcher's reason for doing the trial? Is he/she receiving payment for each research subject's participation?
  • How long will the trial last?
  • Where will information from the study go?
  • What other options or choices do I have if I decide not to participate?
  • What is likely to happen to me with or without this treatment?
  • What tests and treatments does the study involve? Will I be hospitalized?
  • What are the short-term and long-term risks and benefits of this trial? What are the possible side effects? How do these compare to my current treatments?
  • How will the trial affect my daily life?
  • Could my condition become worse during the study? What will happen if it does?
  • If I am harmed as a result of the research, what treatment would I receive?
  • What do you do to monitor patient safety throughout the trial?
  • What type of long-term follow up care is part of the study?
  • Who will pay for the treatment and all other expenses related to the study?
  • How can I end my participation in the study if I change my mind?
  • Whom do I contact for questions and information about the study?

It is important to think through the risks and benefits of joining a clinical trial before making a decision. Your doctor will be able to answer any questions you or your family may have.