Jan 28

Joining a clinical trial

3 factors to consider before participating

Are you thinking of joining a clinical trial? Before you decide to enroll in one, there are several points to consider.

What are your personal time constraints? If you are restricted to periods of time that you can utilize to take part of a clinical trial, then naturally you will have to stick with them and, therefore, not all studies will suit your schedule. If you have a full-time job, it might be difficult to take time off to join some specific type of clinical research trials. If you chose a center far away from your workplace or your home, you have to take in consideration traveling time. Remember, some clinical research trials are time consuming and might require you to stay at the trial center for hours, even for a full day and night. Be part of a clinical trial is more than joining, it also mean commitment. In order to have accurate results, pharmaceutical companies need trial centers to stick to the protocol. If you show low commitment to the trials, results will be inaccurate and chances are that you might be less likely chosen to be part of further studies. So, before you enroll in a clinical trial, make sure that you work schedule will allow you to take the time off for all the visits.

What are the most important aspects for you in regards to clinical research trials? Do you want to reach out to specific diseases? Do you have asthma or someone close to you suffer from arthritis and you would like to help out in these fields? Then you will need to research the various type of studies and trial centers in your area to determine which ones carry the type of study you are interested in. Perhaps you do not mind what field of disease or illness you are helping out. In this case, more options are open to you. Call your closer trial center and inquire what studies are there.

How important is compensation to you? Is money an issue to you? Is your participation in clinical research trials a way to give a little boost to your tight budget at the end of the month, or is you participation a “service to the community”? These considerations might give you an idea of your study choices, and even restrict you in regard to which clinical trials you might consider joining. The drawback is that, unfortunately, money often comes hand in hand with risks and side effects. Phase I trials compensate more than Phase IV. However, risks and side effects of Phase IV investigational drugs are well known, and often minimal compared to those of Phase I of clinical research trials. Similarly, time commitment may indicate money compensation. If you have to stay a full day at the center, chances are that you will get more compensated than for a 2 hours visit at the trial center. Hence, before joining a clinical trial, you might need to take take a look into compensation, time commitment and side effects, and decide whether payment will outweigh the risks of side effects as well as long visits at the trial center that may be related to some clinical research studies.

This gives you three major points to think about when determining what type of clinical  research trials you should participate in. Some center focuses more on distinct type of trials. These centers may concentrate on specific diseases, such as diabetes or asthma, and may carry one phase or many phases of clinical trials. Some trials may require a lot more dedication than others. And while some studies do compensate a lot, other do not offer any compensation.

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Finally it is important to remember that no matter what factors will make you pick a trial over another one, all clinical research trials are rigorously regulated by health authorities, and in all clinical trials, emphasis is put on subjects and patients safety.

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