Questions to Ask About Clinical Trials
If you are considering enrolling in a clinical trial, you should gather as much information as you can about it before you make your decision. Below is a list of questions that patients may want to ask their own doctors or the clinical trial staff.
About the study:
- What is the purpose of the study? In what phase is the study?
- Why do researchers believe the new treatment being tested may be effective? Has it been tested before?
- Who sponsors the study, and who has reviewed and approved it?
- How are the study data and patient safety being checked?
- When and where will study results and information go?
About possible risks and benefits:
- What are the possible short- and long-term risks, side effects, and benefits to me?
- Are there standard treatments for my condition?
- How do the possible risks, side effects, and benefits in the study compare with standard treatment?
About your care:
- What kinds of treatments, medical tests, or procedures will I have during the study? Will they be painful? How do they compare with what I would receive outside the study?
- How often and for how long will I receive the treatment, and how long will I need to remain in the study? Will there be follow-up after the study?
- Where will my treatment take place? Will I have to be in the hospital? If so, how often and for how long?
- How will I know if the treatment is working?
- Will I be able to see my own doctor? Who will be in charge of my care?
About personal issues:
- How could the study affect my daily life?
- Can you put me in touch with other people who are in this study?
- What support is there for me and my family in the community?
- Will I have to pay for any treatment, tests, or other charges?
- What is my health insurance likely to cover?
- Who can help answer any questions from my insurance company or managed care plan?