Education before Participation: What are the benefits and risks of participating in a clinical trial?

Clinical trials that are well-designed and well-executed are the best approach for participants to play an active role in their own health care. Other benefits include gaining access to new research treatments before they are widely available and helping others by contributing to medical research. There are also risks to clinical trials. One risk could be unpleasant, serious or even life-threatening side effects to treatment. It is also possible treatment may not be effective for the participant. And lastly the protocol may require more of their time and attention than would a non-protocol treatment, including trips to the study site, more treatments, hospital stays or complex dosage requirements.

What has your experience been like in a clinical trial? Have you felt the benefits outweigh the risks?

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