There are three main types of medical clinical trials and each has its own purpose for the research and development of effective treatments and the prevention of diseases and conditions in the medical field.
The first type of medical clinical trial is seeking treatment of a disease or condition that a person has. This is a treatment trial, and what they are treating may be resistant to other treatments. A person’s doctor usually believes that they would be a good candidate for this type of medical clinical trial and recommends it.
Here is an article from cancer.org that may answer some additional questions on treatment trials.
The second kind of trial is seeking preventative measures for a disease or condition such as ongoing trials regarding the Covid-19 vaccine. All vaccines and pharmaceutical medications go through vigorous medical clinical trials and participants in these trials are vital to the success of the trial.
This article features information regarding ongoing clinical trials for the Covid-19 vaccine.
The third type of medical clinical trial is from those mentioned above and is a screening trial in which they seek to find more effective ways to diagnose or discover diseases or conditions in patients. Where something was done before with invasive and lengthy testing, they may discover through clinical trials that it can be diagnosed less invasively or more accurately.
Locating A Medical Clinical Trial
Sometimes your doctor may hear about an ongoing or new trial where they have seen success or believe that you might benefit from participating. Also, sites like https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ or https://www.nih.gov/health-information/nih-clinical-research-trials-you/finding-clinical-trial can be helpful in locating clinical trials.
What Is Done Before You Begin A Medical Clinical Trial?
The medical staff explains in further detail what the trial entails and what it will look like for you and those around you. If you agree to participate, you sign a consent form to move forward. You are then screened to assure that you fit the initial guidelines for the trial. Afterwards a baseline visit will be done so they can gather baseline, or starting information about your health.
After you are accepted into the trial you will then be randomly assigned to either the group getting the treatment or the control group that does not get the treatment. This is assigned randomly and a control group is needed to assure that the results seen in the trial are from the treatment in the trial they are conducting. Both groups are treated the same; they attend the same appointments, get the same screenings, and everyone involved is unaware of who is receiving treatment and who is not until the trial is complete.
The trial will include any appointments, procedures, or assessments they deem necessary and you are responsible for adhering to the treatment. You are also responsible for reporting back any concerns or asking any additional questions.
At these regular appointments, the team will also assess your overall well being throughout the study. In most cases, your regular doctor or team of physicians will remain responsible for your general health during the study.
How Long Does A Medical Clinical Trial Typically Last?
The length of a clinical trial often depends on the trial being conducted and what phase of the trial you are entering. Entering phase one of a medical clinical trial typically lasts a few months, phase three can last a few years, and phase two trials land somewhere in between in most cases.
What Kind Of Compensation Can You Expect?
Not every trial pays, some do and the range of pay varies. Pay can be anywhere from $50 to upwards of a few thousand dollars, but as mentioned this varies greatly. The phase of the study, length, patient responsibility (tracking, reporting, etc), and the number of visits required by the patient are all factors in what the trial will pay its participants.
How Do I Know If Joining A Trial Is A Good Idea For Me?
A clinical trial may be right for you if you want to help out others around you including family, friends, and strangers. It might also be right for you if you want to help discover new ways to prevent or treat diseases or conditions that are more effective than what currently exist. While not everyone is a good candidate for a medical clinical trial, if it is something that interests you or something that your doctor thinks you may benefit from, it may be worth considering.