Monday May. 22, 2023
doctor talking to a patient
Clinical Trials: FAQs

A clinical trial is a research study that evaluates a new treatment or medical device for safety and effectiveness. Clinical trials help researchers and doctors figure out how a treatment works and give them important information about its effects. By taking part in a clinical trial, people can get access to promising treatments before the rest of the public can.

Clinical trials are an essential part of bringing new treatments to market for patients. They give information about how well possible new treatments work that would not be available any other way. The results of clinical trials help researchers figure out which drugs are safe enough for people to use, as well as which drugs or devices might have side effects or risks.

Clinical trials are a great way to learn about new medical treatments, and they also may give patients who don't have many other options a chance to try something new. They give people access to experimental therapies that may help improve their quality of life when all other treatments have failed.

Overall, clinical trials are very important for advancing medical research and treatments because they find out about new therapies that might save lives but would not have been found otherwise. Through careful screening and strict rules about how to act ethically, they give both researchers and participants the chance to help find new cures and give people access to new treatments faster than they would through traditional channels.

Are clinical trials safe? Effective?

People often think that clinical trials are dangerous and risky. Patient safety is the top priority in a clinical trial. Even though safety is always the most important thing, strict screening processes and oversight by governing bodies help make sure that participants are safe and well-informed. Also, before they can start, clinical trials must be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to make sure that their methods follow the laws and ethical standards that are in place.

People also think that clinical trials are only for people with serious or life-threatening diseases. Many studies do investigate treatments for serious diseases, but there are also ways for healthy people to help with research on allergies, asthma, and skin diseases.

Another common worry about clinical trials is how well they will work. Some people may worry that taking part in a study could mean getting a treatment or drug that doesn't work well instead of one that could help them. But when it comes to clinical trials, both safety and effectiveness are important. All experiments must first show that they might be effective before they can be approved by the IRB and done on people.

Lastly, some people may think that joining a clinical trial means giving up all control over their health care decisions, like not being able to leave the study at any time or choose which drug or device they get as part of the experiment. This isn't true. During the trial period, participants may be asked to do things like follow investigators' instructions or go to certain medical appointments. However, people always have the right to refuse to take part or stop at any time without penalty if they decide it's not in their best interests.

Even though there are some misconceptions about the risks, who can take part, and how well clinical trials work, these studies are very important for furthering medical research and treatments. They also have many benefits for both the researchers and the people who take part. People who are thinking about signing up for a clinical trial can make an informed decision about whether it is right for them if they know these facts.

Am I eligible?

Getting into a clinical trial has very different requirements depending on the study. These requirements are known as eligibility criteria.

Eligibility criteria explain who can take part in the clinical trial. For instance, clinical trials often require that patients fall within a certain age range. A trial may also require that patients have a specific subtype of disease or a specific mutation. These are both examples of “inclusion criteria.” A clinical trial may also have “exclusion criteria,” which dictates that certain patients cannot participate in the trial. For example, a trial may exclude patients with certain health conditions (such as being HIV+).

These eligibility criteria are designed to keep patients safe. Clinical trial eligibility criteria are also important because they are designed to ensure that the participants in a clinical trial are similar enough to each other that researchers can be certain that the results they get are due to the treatment being studied (and not affected by other factors such as a patient’s existing health conditions or age).

What are the benefits of participating?

Taking part in a clinical trial can be helpful for both the researchers and the participants. Clinical trials give researchers important information that helps move medical research and treatments forward. They help scientists learn more about how a treatment works in the real world and find out if a drug or device has any side effects or risks.

Participating in a clinical trial can give people access to new experimental therapies that may help improve their quality of life when all other treatments have failed.

Participating in a clinical trial is also helpful because it gives people the chance to try out new treatments before they are available on the market for doctors to prescribe them. Drugs go through extensive testing and review before they can be tested on people in clinical trials.

Lastly, taking part in a clinical trial could have long-term health benefits, like better outcomes for diseases like cancer or a lower risk of complications from conditions like diabetes. By taking part in these studies and helping to make medical advances, people can play an important role in making sure that others get access to new treatments sooner than they would through traditional channels.

Where can I go to learn more?

You can find out more about clinical trials in your area by searching online, calling local medical centers or looking at their websites, or talking to healthcare professionals. To start, it can be helpful to look at online databases like and The National Institute of Health's database, which have a list of all the clinical trials that are happening around the world right now. You can use these databases to look for studies that are related to your issue or health condition.

Also, local medical centers may have information about clinical trials that are being done in your area. It is best to call or go to the hospitals near you to find out if there are any studies that might be right for you. Your doctor or another health care provider may also be able to point you in the right direction, since they often know about the studies being done in their field.

Lastly, if you decide that taking part in a clinical trial is right for you, you should make sure you know as much as you can before committing to anything. Ask questions about how long the study will last, who can take part, if there will be any costs, what will be expected of participants during the trial, if there are any risks associated with the treatments being tested, and if taking part in the study will have any long-term benefits or effects. Patients and their doctors can work together to make an informed decision about whether to take part in a clinical trial.

Should I participate?

Before deciding about whether to take part in a clinical trial, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons. It's important to know that any medical procedure or treatment, including those in clinical trials, comes with risks. It's also important to know the possible benefits of taking part in a trial and how it can help improve medical research and treatments.

By taking part in a clinical trial, you may be able to get new treatments or medicines that aren't yet available to the public or that are too expensive for most people. Also, people who have tried all the treatments that are already available may find new hope in experimental therapies, and healthy volunteers may benefit from getting hands-on experience with advanced treatments.

On the other hand, taking part in a clinical trial does come with some possible risks. For example, some studies involve placebos along with the standard if care instead of the active drug being tested. During the study—or randomization—participants may be assigned randomly to either receive or not receive the active drug being tested. Also, as with any medical procedure, there is always a chance that there will be unexpected side effects or problems as a result of taking part. That said, it is important to note that all clinical trials must undergo rigorous screening procedures and review by governing authorities before they are allowed to proceed with human participants, ensuring that safety remains a primary concern throughout all stages of development.

In the end, to make an informed decision about whether to take part in a clinical trial, you need to know about both the possible risks and the possible benefits. Careful research of online databases like and local medical centers where relevant studies might be done, talking to healthcare professionals with experience in this field, and fully understanding eligibility requirements, duration of study time frames, expected costs (if any), and consequences of participation before signing up for anything can help people decide whether to take part in a study.

Key Takeaways

Clinical trials are an essential part of making medical research possible and bringing new treatments to patients with unmet medical needs. They give people a chance to help find new cures and get access to new treatments. Even though there are some common misconceptions about clinical trials, these studies are very helpful for both researchers and the people who take part in them. Before committing to anything, people who are thinking about joining a study should learn as much as they can. Once they know the facts, they can make an informed decision about whether taking part in a clinical trial is right for them. People can learn more about their options for taking part in a clinical trial by doing careful research in places like online databases or local medical centers where relevant studies might have been done and by talking to medical professionals who have experience in this field.

Broward Health, providing service for more than 85 years, is a nationally recognized system in South Florida that offers world-class healthcare to all. The Broward Health system includes the statutory teaching hospital Broward Health Medical Center, Broward Health North, Broward Health Imperial Point, Broward Health Coral Springs, Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston, Broward HealthPoint, Broward Health Physician Group, Broward Health Urgent Care, Broward Health International, and Broward Health Foundation. For more information, visit