Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in a research study?
How can I enroll in a research study?
What is informed consent?
What are the benefits, risks and drawbacks associated with research studies?
Are there any other questions I should ask?
 
Who can participate in a research study?
All research studies have guidelines about who can enroll. Some studies need volunteers with specific illnesses or conditions, while others require healthy individuals. Selection criteria are generally based on such factors as age, type of disease, medical history and current medical condition. Careful selection is essential to minimize risks for volunteers and to ensure that the data from the research is accurate.
 
How can I enroll in a research study?
Information about how to begin this process can be obtained by calling the study’s recruiting coordinator. For studies of new treatments, ask your primary-care physician or the specialist to help determine if you fit the criteria and to refer you to the study if your case does fit the specifications.
 
What is informed consent?
Informed consent is the process of learning the important details of a research study before deciding to participate. This includes:

  • Why the research is being done
  • What the researchers hope to accomplish
  • What evidence exists that the treatment, drug or medical device will work
  • What will be done during the study – and for how long
  • What risks are involved
  • What benefits can be expected from the study
  • What other treatments are available
  • Who has access to health information during a study

What are the benefits, risks and drawbacks associated with research studies?
By participating in a research study, you can:

  • Take an active role in your own health care
  • Gain access to potential new treatments that are not yet available to the public
  • Help others by contributing to medical research


Participation in a research study can be inconvenient:

  • The study may require a significant amount of your time for trips to the study site, treatments, hospital stays or complex dosage requirements


Clinical trials can have risks:

  • There may be side effects or adverse reactions to medications or treatments
  • The treatment may not be effective for you


Are there any other questions I should ask? 

  • What other treatment options do I have?
  • Will I have to pay anything to participate in the study?
  • Is my insurance likely to cover expenses?
  • What happens if I'm hurt or become ill as a result of the trial?
  • What do I do if I change my mind?

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