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What You Need to Know About Clinical Trials

Clinical trails are observational or interventional studies that patients can volunteer for when they have a certain medical condition. An interventional study is used to research how different procedures, drugs, or lifestyle can affect patients with a certain health condition, disease, sickness, etc.

On the other hand, an observational study studies trends in a certain group of patients who all suffer from a similar health condition. For example, a specific group of women may be observed to figure out how lifestyle affects the risk of breast cancer.

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Why Are Clinical Trials Important?

Clinical trials are so important because it allows clinicians, doctors, researches, and others in the medical community to develop and eventually release new treatments for different sicknesses and diseases.

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There are also an ample amount of benefits to clinical trials as well. If the treatment works as it’s anticipated to, the patients may experience a better outcome than they would have with traditional treatment methods. Furthermore, the amount and quality of care provided in clinical trials is exceptional. Often, they receive better care during a clinical trial than they may receive otherwise. If they sought the same quality of care on their own from a regular doctor, it would also cost much more than just participating in a clinical trial.

Are Clinical Trials Risky or Dangerous?

It is important to note that those who decide to participate in a clinical trial do not necessarily mean you will be given the experimental treatment/drug. Participates may land in a control group where they are given a placebo or older treatment.

Additionally, a study drug or treatment can come with an array of side effects – some side effects may be nominal or more severe. For instance clinical trials can “cause bad reactions ranging from headaches and sleeplessness to breathing difficulties or, on very rare occasions, even death. Although the researchers try to warn participants of all known side effects, unanticipated problems may develop.”

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Who Can Be a Part of a Clinical Trial?

Generally, there are very strict guidelines on who can participate in a clinical trial. Obviously, all clinical trials are differed, have different purposes, and will require different groups of participants. Often times, studies will look for people who suffer from different kinds of illnesses, diseases, cancers, etc. other studies may be looking for people who are completely healthy and do not have any notable health conditions.

Some clinical trials also look for people with a certain gender, race, ethnicity, age, or previous treatment history that aligns with the study’s goals. The eligibility and inclusion criteria will always be outlined in the study’s protocols.