Many people have heard of clinical trials but don’t actually know what really happens in them. Clinical trials are done in various ways, from testing new treatments to different types of procedures, which can be done in a clinic, medical center, or a hospital. Here we will discuss five things you can expect when taking part in a clinical trial, from direct data capture to processing results, as well as what the overall experience is like for participants of a clinical trial.
Compared to the process of receiving your routine treatment from the doctors, in a clinical trial, you will have a lot more medical tests as well as monitoring to track the effects of whatever drug is being tested. Before starting the trial, you will have a complete medical history taken, and then you may have to have some blood taken and some imaging done. This can also involve some physical examinations, but all of this varies between clinical trials. You will be given all the information before you get started about the things that need to be done.
Once the clinical trials start, you will be closely monitored to track the progress of the treatment to determine whether the drug is effective or not. Additional medical tests and monitoring are also done to keep you safe and track any unwanted side effects of the treatment so you can be treated as soon as possible if you experience anything detrimental to your health. The most important thing to remember is that you can stop the clinical trial at any point if you decide that you no longer want to participate in it.
Keeping a Health Journal
Once the clinical trial begins, you will likely be asked to keep a health journal where you will note things like your mood throughout the day, your diet, and your overall symptoms. This information is extremely important to the trial as it gives valuable information about a participant’s experience during treatment. You will be told what information you should note down every day before you start the trial, so you don’t have to worry about knowing what to include in your health journal.
Some people have said keeping an electronic copy of the health journal is more straightforward than a physical one because you can access it more easily throughout the day if you need to write something in so you don’t forget later. It also makes it easier for doctors to use the information while they analyze the results. Some of the things you may be asked to note down include the dosage of the treatment you are receiving and when you are receiving it as well as your daily activities and changes in mood.
Preparation for clinical trials is essential for making the experience run as smoothly as possible for you once you get started. Things that you might need to get in order before commencing the trial include your insurance coverage, accommodation, and travel arrangements. The more you are prepared beforehand, the less stressful the clinical trial will be for you, as you won’t be worrying about anything apart from the trial itself. The people taking the clinical trial will help you organize things, so you aren’t left on your own trying to sort everything out. It’s also sometimes helpful to talk to friends and family if you need support or help with arrangements.
If you are employed, then you will likely need to let your employer know about your taking part in a clinical trial and organize time off if it is required. Travel and accommodation for clinical trials can be quite expensive, so it’s a good idea to determine what compensation you will receive for these costs before starting anything. Types of compensation include things like prepaid gas cards as well as parking vouchers and taxi vouchers.
If you need to stay overnight for a trial, you need to figure out whether you will be staying at the testing site or a hotel nearby. This varies between trials, so it is necessary to figure out what arrangements you will need to make beforehand. You should take things like enough clothes, toiletries, and some electronics to contact your family and friends while you are away.
Participants in clinical trials are often bombarded with a lot of information, so it is a good idea to have somewhere to keep all of your documents safe and accessible. Some people like to have physical as well as digital copies of everything, so if something goes missing, they can find it somewhere else.