Talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have before deciding to enroll in a trial. Your doctor can also help you come up with important questions to ask the clinical trial team before you meet with them.
You can use the questions below as a starting point:
The goals of the trial: You'll want to understand why the clinical trial is being conducted and how it might benefit you.
- What is the purpose of this clinical trial?
- Why do the researchers believe this new treatment might be effective?
- Have there been other trials similar to this one? If so, what were the results?
- Why is this clinical trial a good fit for me?
The clinical trial protocol: Each trial is conducted according to a comprehensive plan, or protocol. This protocol describes who can join a trial, the schedule of tests and procedures, medications prescribed, follow-up care, and the length of the study.
- How long will the trial take?
- How long will my part in the trial take?
- What phase is this clinical trial, and what does that mean?
- How many patients are needed for the trial?
- Who will be in charge of my care during the trial?
- What will I have to do if I join?
- How often will I have to visit the hospital or clinic?
- Will I have to stay in the hospital?
- What type of long-term follow-up care is part of this trial?
Risks and benefits: You'll want to know how the treatment could affect your health and impact other care you might receive.
- How could this trial help me if I join?
- What are the possible risks? Is the treatment likely to cause side effects?
- How will I know if the treatment is working?
- Is there a chance I will be assigned to a group that does not get the new treatment?
- If I benefit from the treatment, can I continue taking it after the study?
- Will I be able to take my regular medications while participating?
- What are my treatment options if I don't join this trial?
Practical concerns: It's a good idea to ask if you will have to travel to participate and how costs related to your care will be handled.
- Where will the trial take place (sometimes called the "study site")?
- What financial costs will I be responsible for if I join?
- Will my health insurance be billed?
- Will I be reimbursed or paid in any way for my participation?
- Will I find out about the results of the clinical trial?
- Will researchers tell me if they learn anything about my health during the trial?
- What protocols are in place to protect my safety and privacy?