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Participating in a Research Study

Make sure you understand everything about the clinical trial, including:

  • The purpose of the trial
  • Who is going to be in the trial
  • Whether the treatment has been tested before
  • Why researchers think it is effective
  • What kind of tests and medications you will take
  • How potential risks, side effects and benefits compare with your current treatment
  • How the trial will affect your daily life
  • How long it will last
  • Whether you will need hospitalization
  • Who will pay for your treatment
  • Whether you will be reimbursed for other expenses
  • Whether there is long term follow-up care
  • How you will know if the treatment is working
  • If you will be informed of the trial’s results
  • Who will manage your care

Before you meet with the research coordinator, write down all of the questions you have. Bring a tape recorder with you so you can replay the meeting later to help clarify information, and ask a friend to come with you to the meeting, to provide support and take notes.

Side effects are any undesired actions or effects of drug or treatment; not all side effects are negative or adverse. Negative or side adverse effects may include headache, nausea, hair loss, skin irritation, or other physical problems. Experimental treatments must be evaluated for both immediate and long-term side effects.

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