Healthy Living

Reasons to Take Part in Clinical Research

Clinical research can happen in hospitals, clinics, research centers, universities, and on the Internet. Some studies take just a few days, and others last a few years. There are several reasons why people opt to take part in clinical trials. Some hope to benefit the wider world, while others are motivated by the opportunity to access new medications at low or no cost.


You’ll Get to Help Others

Clinical research paves the way for life-changing medical breakthroughs. These discoveries help people around the world live longer, healthier lives. Major medical advancements, such as vaccines, antidepressants and cancer therapies, would not exist without the generosity of clinical trial participants – whether healthy or suffering from a disease. All participants in a clinical study are carefully screened and must meet certain criteria, called eligibility criteria, to be included in a specific study. These criteria are based on age, sex, medical history and more. Researchers need a diverse group of volunteers to ensure that they accurately reflect the studied population and that results will apply to the whole population.

Most people who participate in clinical trials do so because they believe that doing so will benefit other patients and medical science. Others take part because the standard treatments they have tried do not work or because they cannot tolerate the side effects of those treatments. Virtually everyone we talked to whose doctors asked them to participate in a study said they supported medical research in principle and encouraged others to consider it seriously. However, some people felt that the direct benefits of being in a trial were less important than helping other patients in the future. Those who did not think that the tests offered them any immediate benefits also encouraged others to give them serious consideration and to ensure that they get plenty of information about the study and its possible risks before they agree to participate.

You Can Help Make a Difference

Clinical research, or clinical trials, is a key element of scientific investigation and has been the starting point for many medical advances. It turns basic science (done in labs) into new treatments and knowledge that benefit people’s health. Clinical investigations might be either observational or interventional. The main difference is that clinical trial participants are assigned to get an intervention – they may be given medicine or one of the other types of interventions tested in the study, such as diet or exercise. Informed consent is when a person understands the study details and agrees to participate. It means that members of the research team explain the study, including its purpose, what will happen during the study, how long it will last and any risks or benefits. They also explain that they can ask questions and withdraw at any time.

Most people participating in clinical research are diagnosed with a disease or illness, but healthy volunteers can also play an important role. The rewards can be less tangible but just as valuable for these people. They help researchers learn things that could directly or indirectly benefit them and their family, friends and colleagues in the future. In addition, they often receive payment for their participation in the study. The amount of money paid varies across studies and may depend on the time they spend on the survey.

You’ll Get to Try New Treatments

For some people, especially those with a health condition, participating in clinical research is a way to try new treatments. These could include medicines, vaccines, devices or other procedures like CT scans or blood tests. Some people also find that their treatment is better than what they would get from their usual care. Before receiving American approval, medications are typically tested in a clinical study. FDA, the Food and Drug Administration. The trials help doctors and scientists be sure the drugs are safe, effective and worth bringing to market for all patients. With volunteers, these breakthroughs are possible.

You’ll Get Paid

Many clinical trials offer participants compensation for taking part. It can be a great way to make money, particularly in the case of early-stage studies where volunteers are encouraged to sign up as professional “guinea pigs.” Some research volunteers feel they get better care during a trial than outside it. It can include extra monitoring, more regular appointments with experts specializing in the disease or condition being studied, less rushed appointment times and more time to ask questions.

It’s important to remember that you should only take part in a clinical trial if you feel fully informed about and comfortable with the process. It is called “informed consent.” When you participate in a clinical study, the researchers will explain the questions the study aims to answer, any possible risks and benefits of participating, and what will happen during the study. Only once you understand these details can you agree to participate in the research and freely consent. Whether you’re healthy or suffering from a chronic disease or illness, your decision to volunteer for a clinical trial will help advance medicine and bring us closer to a future where more diseases and debilitating conditions are prevented, diagnosed and treated.