Whether you are a healthy volunteer or enrolling in a study for a specific condition, being a clinical trial participant can offer many benefits. It gives you the chance to be more involved in medical treatments, gain access to new therapies and be a part of medical breakthroughs to take place in the future. As a Black participant, you are playing an important role in providing much-needed research on how specific conditions and medications affect Black Americans.
If you’ve begun searching for clinical trials, you may find that the process can be a bit overwhelming. You may also find that it is challenging to find a clinical trial that is a good fit for you. If this sounds familiar, we’re here to help. Here’s how to get the most out of your clinical trial search.
Consider the trial’s site locations
When looking for the perfect trial, a big make-it-or-break-it factor is where the trial is located. As you search for a trial, think about how many miles you’re willing to travel for a trial. It may also help to think about how frequently the trial occurs. If frequent visits aren’t required, you may be fine with traveling a distance. However, if visits are frequent, you may find getting to the trial location difficult.
Some websites and matching tools make it easy to filter trials by location. This allows you to see if there are sites within your preferred travel radius. These matching tools can also save you time by helping you determine if you meet the eligibility requirements for a trial you are interested in through algorithms and databases that match patient attributes including age, gender, medical history, and current drugs.
Search for the right kind of trial
Clinical trials are separated into two types: interventional and observational. The former aims to find out more about a particular intervention, or treatment (i.e. a drug, device or behavioral change) and how it can impact health-related outcomes. In the latter, researchers do not assign participants to a treatment or other intervention. Instead, they observe participants or measure certain outcomes to determine health outcomes.
Both of these study types will receive a protocol. The protocol provides a detailed plan for the study written by the trial sponsor and approved by the FDA.
Consider what phase the trial is in
The phase a trial is in may also play an important role in determining if a trial is right for you and if you will be accepted.
Phase 1: Phase 1 trials are the earliest phase trials. These trials test if a treatment is safe and enrolls the