Enrolling in Clinical Trials

People volunteer for clinical trials for a variety of reasons including to help in the advancement of science, for treatment of a disease for which good treatment does not currently exist, or to improve the medical care they are receiving. Whatever your reason for participating in a clinical trial, it is important that you have all your questions answered prior to enrolling in a clinical trial. Questions you may want to ask include:

The Study

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • Why do researchers think the approach may be effective?
  • Who has reviewed and approved the study? How are study results and safety of participants being checked?
  • How long will the study last?
  • What are my responsibilities if I participate?

Possible Risks and Benefits

  • What are my possible short-term benefits?
  • What are my possible long-term benefits?
  • What are my short-term risks, such as side effects?
  • What are my possible long-term risks?
  • What other options do people with my condition have?
  • How do the possible risks and benefits of this trial compare with those options?

Participation and Care

  • What kinds of therapies, procedures and/or test will I have during the trial?
  • Will they hurt, and if so, for how long?
  • How do the tests in the study compare with those I would have outside of the trial?
  • Will I be able to take my regular medications while in the clinical trial?
  • Where will I have my medical care?
  • Who will be in charge of my care?

Personal issues

  • How could being in this study affect my daily life?
  • Can I talk to other people in the study?

Cost Issues

  • Will I have to pay for any part of the trial such as tests or the study drug?
  • If so, what will the charges likely be?
  • What is my health insurance likely to cover?
  • Who can help answer any questions from my insurance company or health plan