Before agreeing to participate in a clinical trial you will probably have many questions.

Below are a few basic questions to ask before agreeing to participate in a clinical trial.

What is the goal of the clinical trial?

There are several possible goals of clinical trials including prevention, screening, diagnostic, treatment, and quality of life.

What is being tested?

A new medication, a new medical device or maybe an old medication being used in new ways, are all things that can be tested in clinical trials. Knowing what is being tested will help you determine if you want to participate.

Who will care for my health during the trial?

Sometimes this will be your regular doctor, but other times you may be put under the care of members of the clinical trials team.

What are the time and treatment expectations?

Some clinical trials require little time and effort while others can take up a lot of time with travel, medication dosing and check ups. Knowing ahead of time what to expect and what you can commit to are important to both you and the clinical trial.

How will I be compensated for my time?

Participants in clinical trials rarely if ever pay for the treatment they receive. Compensation beyond that can vary greatly. Some trials compensate participants for their time and travel, while others do not.

What is informed consent?

All participants in clinical trials read and sign a document that informs them what will happen during the clinical trial. This document is written in clear and simple language. Participants sign the consent form to confirm that they understand what they are agreeing to.

What are the possible risks?

Discuss potential side effects with the clinical trials team. Ask why they think this treatment might work and if it has been studied in the past.