What questions should I ask before joining a clinical trial?

While you may have your own list of questions to ask, these are a good starting point.

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Questions to ask your doctor:

  • Do you think this clinical trial is right for me?
  • Why are you recommending a clinical trial/this trial for me?
  • How do you think I will benefit from participating?
  • What are my risks if I join or do not join?
  • Do you know if I meet the requirements to join the trial?
  • Is there any information about the safety or efficacy you can share?
  • How many people are on this clinical trial?

Questions to ask the clinical trial team at the clinical trial site:

  • How is the treatment being studied different from regular treatments or standard care?
  • Will you work with my doctor?
  • Have similar clinical trials been done? What were the results?
  • Will I get a placebo?
  • Who will pay for my participation in the clinical trial? Will there be any cost to me personally?
  • Will I need assistance from a family member or friend?
  • Where do I have to go to participate? How often?
  • Will I have to change my daily habits?
  • Will I have tasks to do on my own at home?
  • Will I be able to work, exercise, take my regular medications, etc.?
  • What kind of tests will I have?
  • Will I have to stay in a hospital?
  • What do I do if I have reactions to the treatment?
  • What if I get sicker during the trial?
  • Can I talk with others in this trial?
  • Can I still see my family doctor or primary care physician during the clinical trial?
  • What are the risks if I am pregnant or become pregnant during the clinical trial?
  • What other options do I have?
  • Can I leave the clinical trial at any time?
  • What happens after the clinical trial?

Questions to ask as a caregiver:

  • As a caregiver, what can I expect? Will I be asked to do certain tasks?
  • What changes should I look out for?
  • How is the experimental treatment taken or used? How can I help?
  • Who do I contact with questions?
  • What support/resources does the clinical trial team offer caregivers?
  • What financial support does the clinical trial team offer participants and caregivers for expenses (for example, parking, travel, meals, etc.)?