Four Important Patient Benefits of Participating in Clinical Research

“Do you suffer from (insert medical condition here)?”

You’ve probably heard this question on television or seen it in a newspaper ad along with an invitation to participate in a clinical trial. But have you ever taken the next step? While there is no obligation to join a trial, there are several key benefits to consider: 

Patients Get Early Access to New Treatments

In clinical trials, researchers create protocols to test the safety and efficacy of treatments by measuring certain specific outcomes in clinical trial participants.(1) These treatments include drugs, medical devices, procedures, or behavioral modifications. When patients participate in clinical trials, they are among the first to try a new health intervention before it comes to market and is available to the public.

Patients Can Play a More Active Role in Their Own Health [Care]

Greater patient engagement in healthcare has been associated with improved outcomes.(2) When patients are more involved, they are more likely to go to their appointments, participate in recommended screenings, and fully invest in their care. Participating in a clinical trial gives patients the opportunity to be stakeholders and decision-makers in their medical treatment plan.

There Has Never Been a Greater Focus on Patient-Centricity

Historically, clinical trials have been slow to recruit patients, let alone keep them engaged through trial completion. The good news is that more research organizations are adopting hybrid and decentralized clinical trials that are patient-focused and are designed to reduce patient burden and provide a better experience, often from the comfort of home. In fact, nearly 1,300 clinical trials utilizing virtual/decentralized components are projected to start in 2022 — a 28% increase from 2021, and a 93% boost from 2020.(source) 

Patients Can Be Part of “Something Bigger”

The information gleaned from studies provides healthcare practitioners and researchers with critical data about treatment response, safety measures, and efficacy. Ultimately, bringing a new treatment to market can impact thousands or even millions of lives. In other words, if you participate in a study, you’ll be contributing to a larger social good effort that will help future patients just like you.

Conclusion

Clinical research is the bedrock for advancing the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Fortunately, hybrid and fully decentralized clinical trials are making it easier for people to access and participate in meaningful research. This reduces common barriers (e.g, time and money for transportation) and helps provide better insights into under-represented and under-studied populations, including women, diverse ethnic and racial groups, children, and the elderly.

References

  1. Learn About Clinical Studies. (2019). U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/about-studies/learn
  2. Vahdat, S., Hamzehgardeshi, L., Hessam, S., & Hamzehgardeshi, Z. (2014). Patient Involvement in Health Care Decision Making: A Review. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.5812/ircmj.12454

 

Disclaimer: This article is for general information purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and is not intended to be relied upon for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911 immediately.

DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be relied upon for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911 immediately.