If you decide to participate in a clinical trial, you may receive higher quality medical care and resources. Many require more tests and doctor visits than usual. You will often have access to an entire team of clinical trial doctors, nurses, social workers, and dietitians who will monitor your health.
In some clinical trials, the treatment being tested is safer and more effective than any existing options. In these cases, participants are the first to benefit from important advances in care.
If, however, the new medication or treatment is less effective -- or even harmful -- your doctor will likely remove you from the clinical trial and seek out a better care option.
While there are no guarantees in clinical trials, it's important that you have as clear expectations as possible before volunteering. Informed consent is used for this purpose. As part of the consent process, you can ask the researcher or healthcare provider any questions you may have. You are also provided detailed information about the study's instructions, procedures, benefits, and risks. You cannot be entered into a clinical trial until you sign the final, informed consent form.