Clinical Trials? Benefits & Risks?
A clinical trial is a carefully designed research study, where men and women and sometimes even children, volunteer to test new medications, surgical procedures, or surgical devices. These studies or trials tell us if the medications/procedures/devices are safe and effective or if they’ll improve the quality of life for those suffering with a chronic illness, such as Alzheimer’s.
The benefits of a clinical trial are:
- Gaining access to new treatments before they become available to the public.
- Finding a treatment that may cure the volunteer’s disease.
- Playing a more active role in their health care by learning more about the disease.
- Healthy volunteers and even those suffering from a disease, help researchers find better treatments for other men, women and children in the future.
The risks associated with clinical trials are:
- Finding another treatment that does not cure the volunteer’s disease.
- The study may require a lot of time and energy on the volunteer’s part, to include trips or stays in a hospital, frequent trips to the study site and many tests.
- Treatment may cause unbearable or painful and/or sometimes very serious or life-threatening side effects.
In-Home Care provides transportation services to clinical trials.
Clinical trials are used to detect, prevent and sometimes, if we’re lucky, treat a disease. Before participating in a clinical trial, volunteers should educate themselves with all available information about the trial. Don’t hastily jump in with both feet before you find out if the trial is right for you.
Ask questions, lots of questions, such as:
- Who will be participating in the study?
- What kind of procedures will be involved?
- How much time is needed for the study? How many hours/days a week/weeks will it take?
- Will there be hospital stays?
- Who will pay for the study/procedures?
- How long will the study last?
- Who’ll be in charge of my care? Will I need to continue seeing my own doctor?
- Will there be long-term care provided after the study/trial is over? Is so, for how long?
- Why do you or the researchers believe the study may be effective? Has it been to trial before?
- Will volunteers be informed if the study is effective or not? Will the results of the trial be released to the volunteers?
- What are the benefits and side effects of the study? How are they different from my current plan of care?
Of course, everyone has to qualify to be in a study, but that’s the basics of a clinical trial. We will try to post upcoming clinical trials as they are offered nationwide. Should you know of any trials coming up, please feel free to let us know and we will post them online. Or should you need in-home care transportation services to a clinical trial now or in the future, contact us today, we can help.