Questions to Ask Before Enrolling in a Los Angeles Clinical Study
Clinical trials are needed to advance medical knowledge and to find cures for medical conditions. Although at first tested on animals, medication and treatments require the use of human participants to check for safety and effectiveness. There are many benefits to those participating in Los Angeles clinical studies, such as free medication and treatments, free doctor care and lab work, and in many cases, compensation. However, it is important to conduct research and ask the right questions before agreeing to participate in a free or paid clinical trial.
What is a Los Angeles Clinical Study?
Clinical trials take place in a medical office, laboratory or hospital in order to assess whether a new medication, device or treatment is a viable option. Without medical research, it would be impossible to say whether new treatment options are safe to use or work as they claim. These medical studies give researchers important information that allow them to work towards finding cures for the diseases affecting people worldwide.
Individuals are thoroughly checked before being accepted to participate to make sure they have the conditions necessary for the trial. Some of the participants receive the actual treatments, while others receive placebos, or sugar pills. Individuals are constantly monitored and checked for any improvement or side effects, and are under medical care the entire time.
What Questions Should You Ask Before Participating in a Medical Study?
Informed consent is a necessary component of medical research trials. Therefore, it is important that the patient takes some responsibility for being informed about the process. Clinical trials may seem overwhelming or confusing to the patient, so we have provided a list of questions that may help someone evaluate whether a clinical trial is right for them.
It may be helpful to ask questions about the treatment that is on trial. Some questions to ask include:
What is this trial aiming to study?
What is the method of treatment? Is there more than one?
Has this treatment option been tested before? If so, were there any serious side effects?
Is there more than one treatment being tested in the trial? If so, will I know which treatment is being administered to me? Will the researchers know?
If more than one treatment is tested, is the assignment determined by chance?
How does the treatment compare to the current method being used to treat the relevant disease?
According to ClinicalTrials.gov, it is important to ask questions that are more specific to the process, including:
Will there be any cost to me?
Will there be any compensation for my time?
Will I be reimbursed for any expenses incurred, such as travel?
How long is the process?
How frequently are treatments administered, and will I need to check in between treatments?
Is it an inpatient or outpatient procedure? Where will it take place?
Who will be administering the treatment?
Will I be required to do any testing before or after? If so, what will this involve?
Who has access to the final results?
Who is providing the financial backing?
Queries concerning the medical benefits and risks of a treatment can help individuals decide whether a clinical trial is the right option for them. Some questions are provided here, reflecting recommendations made by the National Cancer Institute, such as:
What are the potential side effects?
How does the treatment compare to the current method being used to treat the relevant disease
If any side effects occur, how will they be treated?
Is compensation provided if injury or damages occur?
If the treatment is successful, will I still have access to it once the study has concluded?
What is the policy about long term care – will I be provided with any medical benefits that go beyond the scope of the study?
Participating in a Los Angeles clinical trial is one way that a person can take initiative in improving his or her own health while advancing the medical field as a whole. However, the decision to participate in a medical research trial is an important one, so the patient should ask the right questions and take time in the decision making process.
To learn more about Los Angeles clinical trials for smoking cessation, depression, schizophrenia or fibromyalgia, contact the Pacific Institute of Medical Research, which is an independent clinical research site specializing in psychiatry since 1982. Visit us online or call us at (310) 208-7144.