Participating in a research study
isn’t as simple as qualifying and enrolling. It is a decision that requires careful
consideration about multiple variables. Whether you are a healthy person
interested in furthering research in a vaccine, medication, or treatment to
benefit a large part of society, to a patient looking for a new and more
beneficial treatment for a specific illness, research participants tend to have
a wide range of reasons for engaging in a clinical trial. Listed below are some
items to consider when thinking about participating in a clinic research study.
Benefits and Risks
What are the potential benefits of participating in the study? Do they outweigh any potential risks involved?
Before receiving FDA approval, drugs and other treatments must undergo at least three phases of study. Phase I is when the treatment is tested on humans for the first time for safety and any major side effects. These studies pose the most risk, generally. After the medication has been adequately tested on humans for side effects and dosage, it moves into Phase II and Phase III testing. Sterling Research Group generally conducts studies in the Phase II and III stages. These phases certainly have risks involved, but have shown early signs of safety. Participants in these studies help researchers learn how effective the treatment is, what the side effects are, and more.
Deciding for yourself if the benefits of participating in the study outweigh the potential risk is important before enrolling. To aid in your decision, we suggest speaking with your family, your doctor, and the study recruiters.
Length & Location of Study
Do I have time to devote to the study? Will I need to make special arrangements with my employer, spouse, or others in order to participate? Do I feel comfortable spending time at the study's location?
Given that most studies last at
least 2-3 years, it is important to plan ahead. Will you be willing and
available to participate in the study two years from now? Generally, as time
progresses, visits will be fewer and shorter, nevertheless, clinical trials
want participants to remain in the study for the entire duration in order to
ensure the safety and efficacy of the treatment. Along those lines, it is
important for you to feel comfortable, safe, and cared for at the site of the
study since you will be spending a lot of time there over the next few years,
and will be entrusting its staff in your care.
Are there alternative treatments available? Would these alternatives better suit my lifestyle? Are these alternative treatments presently available or future alternatives?
When considering a study for an
illness you’re living with, it is important to weigh whether the potential new
treatment could be more beneficial to you than the current treatments
available. Talking with the site’s staff about the potential benefits of the study
is an excellent way to help you in making that decision.