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Questions to ask before participating in a clinical research study

What should people consider before participating in a clinical research study?

People should know as much as possible about the clinical research study and feel comfortable asking the members of the health care team questions about it, the care expected while in a study, and the cost of the study. The following questions might be helpful for the participant to discuss with the health care team.

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • Who is going to be in the study?
  • How many volunteers are needed for the study?
  • Why do researchers believe the experimental treatment being tested may be effective? Has it been tested before?
  • Have there been other studies similar to this one?
  • What kinds of tests and experimental treatments are involved?
  • How do the possible risks, side effects, and benefits in the study compare with my current treatment?
  • How might this study affect my daily life?
  • How long will the study last?
  • Will hospitalization be required?
  • What are the standard treatment options for my condition if I choose not to participate?
  • Who will pay for the experimental treatment?
  • Will I incur any costs?
  • Will I be reimbursed for other expenses or paid for my participation?
  • What type of long-term follow up care is part of this study?
  • How will I know that the experimental treatment is working? Will results of the study be provided to me?
  • Who will be in charge of my care?
  • Whom should I contact if I have questions about the study?

Information is copyright  U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Last Updated: 6/17/14