Published: Apr. 1, 2008
Updated: Apr. 1, 2008
You may choose to participate in a clinical study for a variety of reasons. Before you do, you should carefully consider whether the trial is right for you. Trial investigators also need to determine whether you’re eligible to participate.
Investigators use participation guidelines to show which characteristics they are seeking in subjects. The factors that allow someone to participate are “inclusion criteria” and those that disqualify someone are called “exclusion criteria.” These may include:
Guidelines for participation ensure that the results of the trial will reflect the treatment being studied, rather than outside factors. This helps researchers achieve accurate and meaningful results.
Participating in a clinical trial may yield significant health benefits, but there are risks involved with any experimental treatment.
If you are considering joining a study, you should educate yourself about the process, risks, and benefits. Much of this information is in the informed consent document that you will need to sign before participating. (What is informed consent?)
In addition, the health care 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:
Click a link to find out more about clinical trials at Duke.