The idea of clinical trials can be scary. You spoke to the research coordinator, and they explained everything, but it was a lot of information to digest. To make an accurate assessment of a clinical trial, it is necessary to understand the importance they have, the benefits, and the risks involved with participating.

Why are clinical trials important?
Clinical trials aim to explore the safety and effectiveness of a medical strategy, treatment or device to uncover the best medical approaches to certain illnesses. Clinical trials are one of the final stages of a rigorous testing process and are a key research tool for the advancement of medical knowledge and patient care.

Possible Benefits and Risks
You might gain access to possible new treatment options before they are available to the public. If you are not in the group testing the new strategy, then you may benefit from receiving standard medical care for your condition which may be as good as, or better than the new treatment.

However, sometimes the new approach might not be better than the standard medical care. The approach might not be beneficial to you and the treatment may have side effects or unforeseen risks.

Before Enrolling in a Clinical Trial
Here are four facts about clinical trials you should know (provided by Eli Lilly):

1. Before reaching the shelves at your local pharmacy or your medicine cabinet at home, 100% of all the new prescription drugs go through a rigorous testing process to ensure its safety and effectiveness.
2. 91% of clinical trial participants have reported their experience during the clinical trial was
GOOD or EXCELLENT.
3. From all the clinical trial participants, 95% say they would participate in another one.
4. The two top reasons people choose to join a clinical trial are to help others and the advancement of science.

And questions you should ask and discuss with the research team (provided by clinicaltrials.gov):

1. What is being studied?
2. Why do researchers believe the intervention being tested might be effective? Why might it not be effective? Has it been tested before?
3. What are the possible interventions that I might receive during the trial?
4. How will it be determined which interventions I receive (for example, by chance)?
5. Who will know which intervention I receive during the trial? Will I know? Will members of the research team know?
6. How do the possible risks, side effects, and benefits of this trial compare with those of my current treatment?
7. What will I have to do?
8. What tests and procedures are involved?
9. How often will I have to visit the hospital or clinic?
10. Will hospitalization be required?
11. How long will the study last?
12. Who will pay for my participation?
13. Will I be reimbursed for other expenses?
14. What type of long-term follow-up care is part of this trial?
15. If I benefit from the intervention, will I be allowed to continue receiving it after the trial ends?
16. Will results of the study be provided to me?
17. Who will oversee my medical care while I am participating in the trial?
18. What are my options if I am injured during the study?
Want to know more? Talk to the staff at Women’s Health Care Research and learn about enrolling studies that you could benefit from. Click the button below to see our currently enrolling studies.