Questions to Ask

Anyone considering a clinical trial should feel free to ask questions or bring up any issues concerning the trial at any time. Asking the following questions may give you some ideas as you think about your own questions. 

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 the safety of participants being checked? 
  • How long will the study last? 

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 treatment options do I 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 tests 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?
  • What do I do if I change my mind?
  • What happens if I'm hurt or become ill as a result of the trial?
  • What will my responsibilities be if I participate?

Personal Matters

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

Cost and Insurance Coverage

Clinical trials are typically sponsored by pharmaceutical companies or the federal government, but you’ll need to ask questions to know for sure.

  • 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?
  • Will there be any travel or child-care costs that I need to consider while I am in the trial?