Clinical Trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. These studies also may show which medical approaches work best for certain illnesses or groups of people. A clinical trial involves two or more people who have volunteered for a particular medical study. These trials vary in length – some take only a day or two while others go on for multiple years. Clinical research involves people like you. When you volunteer to take part in clinical research, you help doctors and researchers learn more about a disease and improve health care for people in the future.
Researchers follow clinical trial guidelines when deciding who can participate in a particular study. These guidelines are called Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria. Factors that allow you to take part in a clinical trial are called “inclusion criteria.” Those that exclude or prevent participation are “exclusion criteria.” These criteria are based on factors such as age, gender, the type and stage of a disease, treatment history, and other medical conditions. Not everyone who wants to volunteer will be accepted. Physical exams and other medical procedures may be required to determine your ability to participate in the trial.
This is done to ensure that it is completely safe for each person to participate in the research, and there is never any cost to the volunteer. Most clinical trials provide a time and travel stipend.