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5 Top Tips for New Volunteers in Clinical Research

November 25, 2022
5 Top Tips for New Volunteers in Clinical Research
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Clinical trials cannot move forward without volunteers. However, the barrier to entry for clinical trials can be very high, starting with public information like a study page or a listing in a database.

The process of participating in a clinical trial can be both rewarding and challenging. Here are some tips for new volunteers in clinical research.

Ask Lots of Questions

Never be afraid to ASK – write any questions down to prompt you. Take someone you trust to your appointment with your healthcare team, but speak to them beforehand to tell them what you need to know so they can support you if you struggle.

“You don’t get if you don’t ask” – even if something isn’t offered, ask why. Understanding everything about your disease and possible treatments is vital to making an informed decision.

After you have learned the basics about a trial, the next step is to get in touch with one of the staff. Before you decide to join, you'll be able to learn more about the study and the screening process. If you have no idea where to start, we've created a quick list of questions to ask the study team, which include:

  1. What is the goal of the study?
  2. How long will the study last?
  3. Who will be conducting the study?
  4. Will I receive any financial compensation for participating and/or reimbursement for my expenses?
  5. How will I receive the treatment and/or be monitored?
  6. Does the study include a placebo?
  7. Can I continue participating if the trial medicine works for me?
  8. What can I expect at each visit?
  9. How will my privacy be protected?
  10. What happens if I leave the study before it ends?
  11. What happens if my condition worsens or I am injured during the trial?
  12. What are the potential risks and potential benefits of the study drug?
  13. What did previous studies find out about the treatment? Have the results been published?
  14. Will I receive follow-up care after the study?
  15. Will the results of the clinical trial be provided to me?

If you have decided to participate in a trial, do not hesitate to bring someone with you to study visits. Taking a caregiver, relative, or friend you are comfortable with is a great idea since you'll likely receive important data. The person with you can take down notes to help you remember everything later. If you decide to participate in a study at a study site where they don't speak your native language, tell the study team in advance so they can set you up with an interpreter.

Don’t be Put off by the Paperwork Relating to a Trial

Make sure you take all the paperwork home, read it all and jot down any points you may need clarification on when you return to the hospital. You will be asked to sign the paperwork if you decide to take part but remember you can leave the treatment at any time if you change your mind.

Keep a Diary

Your trial team will want to know every little detail of how you have been feeling each time you visit the hospital, and it is far easier to remember things if you have jotted them down. Don’t forget that they need to learn all about the treatment you are taking, which helps with your own care and those who come after you.

Focus on Your Goals

Clinical trial treatments might be new drugs or combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new methods to use existing treatments.

The goal of clinical trials is to determine if new treatments or experimental treatment works and is safe. Clinical trials can also look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people suffering from chronic illnesses.

People volunteer in clinical trials for several different reasons. Healthy volunteers say they volunteer in order to help others and contribute to moving science forward. Other volunteers with an illness or disease not only participate to help others but also to possibly receive the latest treatment option and to have additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff.

Clinical trials offer hope for many people and an opportunity to help researchers find better treatments for others in the future.

Live Your Life

Finally, and most importantly, remember to LIVE! Being in a trial can be intense with hospital visits, and it is so easy for it all to become all-consuming. So, plan some nice treats for when you know you will feel well between visits. This ensures you always have something to look forward to, and you will return to your hospital visits refreshed.

Learning About Study Results

Once the clinical trial is completed, participants likely will not have access to the trial drug or device, depending on when or if it receives approval from regulatory agencies. Researchers must first carefully examine data gathered during the study before deciding the meaning of the findings and whether or not further testing is required.

Often, there will be a follow-up period after the trial, during which the study team keeps track of a participant’s health over time. If a potentially dangerous side effect or issue is found in any patients after the treatment, researchers must report that information to you as soon as possible.

Some researchers will notify you upon request about the results of the trial. However, the results of most clinical trials usually are published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Results are also published in the National Library of Medicine's PubMed database and the National Institutes of Health registry. Just search for the study's official name or Protocol ID number.

Ongoing Clinical Research Studies in Tampa

We will answer your questions and keep you informed. We want trial volunteers to enroll in the most appropriate study based on your needs to have the best possible results.

  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Covid-19
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus
  • Migraine
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Contact Santos Research Center, Corp.

At Santos Research Center, Corp., we have completed over 400 clinical trials. We utilize efficient and trustworthy systems to plan and manage quality medical research studies.

For more information about our ongoing clinical studies, you may visit us at www.santosresearch.com.

If you are interested in participating in our paid clinical trials, call us at (813) 249-9100.

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Santos Research Center, Corp. is a research facility conducting paid clinical trials, in partnership with major pharmaceutical companies & CROs. We work with patients from across the Tampa Bay area.

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