There are many reasons to participate in medical research and clinical trials. But before you do, it is important to consider whether the trial is right for you. In addition to deciding whether a trial is a good fit for you, trial investigators will also decide whether you are a good fit for their trial.
Investigators use certain guidelines to determine the characteristics that subjects need in order to participate. Factors that allow someone to participate in a trial are called “inclusion criteria.” The factors that disqualify someone are called “exclusion criteria,” and they may include:
Participation guidelines make certain that trial’s results will reflect the treatment that investigators are studying, rather than other factors. This helps researchers achieve meaningful and accurate results.
Enrolling in a clinical trial may yield significant health benefits, but there are risks involved with any experimental treatment. So if you are considering joining a study, you should educate yourself about the process, risks, and benefits. You can find out about these things from the trial coordinator, as well as from an informed consent document that you will sign before participating.
In addition, the trial team will discuss the study with you and answer any questions you may have about the study before you make your decision about participating.
Here are some questions that might be helpful for you to ask:
If you have questions about your rights as a research study participant, please contact the Institutional Review Board.
Click a link to find out more about clinical trials at The University of Tennessee Medical Center.