It is extremely important to ask questions! The following are examples of questions to ask the research team when thinking about a clinical trial.
It is good to write down any questions you might have and bring your list with you at the meeting with the research team. You may also wish to discuss this decision with your family, friends, or doctor. Feel free to bring a friend or relative with you for support and to hear the responses to your questions. Some examples:
- What is the main purpose of this study?
- Does the study involve a placebo or a treatment that is already on the market (a placebo is a substance that looks and tastes identical to the actual drug being studied, but does not contain active ingredients. Often called a “sugar pill”)?
- What has been learned about the study medication and are any study results published?
- How long is the study going to last?
- What will I be asked to do as a participant?
- Do I have to pay for any part of the study? Will my insurance cover these costs?
- Is there any reimbursement for travel costs or childcare?
- Will I be able to see my own doctor?
- Will I receive any follow-up care after the study has ended?
- What are my short-term risks, such as side effects?
- What are my possible long-term risks?
- What other options do people with my disease have?
- What kinds of therapies, procedures and tests will I have during the trial?
- Is there any way to know if the treatment is working?
- How is my health protected while I am in the study?
- What will happen if my health problems get worse during the study?
- Is there any possibility/way that the study will affect my everyday life?
- If the study medication works for me, can I keep using it after the study?
- Can anyone find out whether I’m participating in the clinical trial?
- What will happen to my medical care if I stop participating in the study?
- Does the physician/investigator (a medical professional, usually a doctor, who is responsible for the overall conduct of the clinical trial at his/her location) have any financial or special interest in the clinical study?
- What are the credentials and research experience of the physician and study staff?