How to Find a Clinical Trial That Actually Works for You

How to Find a Clinical Trial That Actually Works for You

Joining a clinical trial can mark a significant step in your health care journey that can be eased with careful considerations and discussions. Initiating a conversation with your doctor or another trusted member of your health care team is crucial. Your physician often holds valuable insights into available clinical trials, and can assist in identifying options that align with your needs, circumstances and goals. They can also provide vital information, answer your questions, and guide your decision-making process.

What should I consider before joining a clinical trial? 

When considering joining a clinical trial, it’s important to weigh various factors, as this decision is deeply personal and may necessitate input from family, friends and your health care providers. A few things to consider consist of assessing potential costs associated with trial involvement, such as travel expenses to the clinic site or lodging (depending on if your trial is near your home.) Equally important is considering if you trust the institution, doctors, and nurses overseeing the trial. Establishing a foundation of trust instills strong communication and understanding which will be helpful during your treatment.

Brittane Strahan, MSN, RN, CCRP, a registered nurse with four years of experience as an adult oncology research coordinator, recommends that patients should be thoroughly informed of the requirements of the trial, such as number of visits, events occurring at each visit, required treatments, required blood (or other biologic sample) collections and required questionnaires that they will need to complete as these are all critical to the individual’s safety and the study’s success. It’s also important to consider your standard treatment options and anticipated outcomes based on your unique circumstances. Your doctor or specialist serves as your primary source for comprehending the full spectrum of potential risks and outcomes associated with a particular trial.

How to know if you qualify for a clinical trial 

After researching clinical trials, take a moment to review the eligibility and requirements to help guide if it’s right for you. You’ll find