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Clinical Research Studies Frequently Asked Questions

This material has been excerpted with permission from a comprehensive guide, "Should I Enter a Clinical Trial? A Patient Reference Guide for Adults with a Serious or Life-Threatening Illness" published by ECRI, a nonprofit health services research agency and collaborating center of the World Health Organization, 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA, 19462.

What is a clinical trial?

Is participating in a trial different from receiving treatment outside of a clinical trial?

What are the different types of clinical trials, and what do I need to know about them?

How will I learn about the risks and benefits of participating in a trial?

How can I learn about trials I might be eligible for?

Will I be eligible for the trial I want to enroll in?

Who ensures patient safety and the qualifications of the researchers and research organization involved in the trial?

Do all the patients in a trial receive the same treatment?

Should I be concerned about any conflicts of interest of my personal physician or the research organization?

Will I incur any costs by participating in a clinical trial?

Will my health insurance pay?

Should I be concerned about the privacy of my personal health information when participating in a clinical trial?