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Clinical Trials: A Guide for Patients

Important Questions to Ask

If you are thinking about taking part in a clinical trial, find out as much as possible about the study before you decide to participate. Here are some important questions to ask:

  1. What is the purpose of the clinical trial?
  2. What kinds of tests and treatments does the clinical trial involve, and how are these tests given?
  3. What is likely to happen in my case with, or without, this new research treatment? (Are there standard treatment options for my case, and how does the study compare with them?)
  4. How could the clinical trial affect my daily life?
  5. What side effects can I expect from the clinical trial? (Note: There can also be side effects from standard treatments and unpleasant effects from the disease itself.)
  6. How long will the clinical trial last?
  7. Will the clinical trial require extra time on my part?
  8. Will I have to be hospitalized? If so, how often and for how long?
  9. If I agree to withdraw from the clinical trial, will my care be affected? Will I need to change physicians?
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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Saenger, MD on June 06, 2012

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