Explore clinical studies with Curewiki: Understanding the procedures, impacts, and importance of informed consent.
Curewiki’s primary objective is to match you with the appropriate clinical research. We simplify the lengthy and complicated process of finding a suitable one. But what does a ‘clinical study’ mean? And what do you need to know before you volunteer? This article will talk you through what you need to know about clinical studies.
What exactly is a clinical study?
“The purpose of clinical research is to optimize treatments.”
Clinical research is carried out to improve medical knowledge and advance treatments. This long and careful research process can involve both patients and healthy volunteers. It checks whether one or more treatments and therapies are effective, have side effects, and work better than the current standard treatment. As such, they are the only way to know more about sickness and improve or develop new treatments. Clinical research instigates evolution in the medical world as it examines (new) treatment methods for a diverse group of people with diverse backgrounds and identities.
A complex path before the research begins
Before a treatment is tested, it goes through a long and complex process in which various aspects are assessed. This takes 14 years on average. Prior to even testing anything, researchers must have been given consent by regulatory and government agencies, such as the European Medicines Agency. It is only after a clinical study is approved by the ethics committee and by relevant authorities that it can start looking for participants. And that is when Curewiki comes into the picture.
Informed consent: Your gateway to information
Clinical research goes hand in hand with informed consent, which is an ethical as well as a legal obligation. Informed consent is the process in which you as a volunteer in participating are fully aware of the proposed research project before giving your consent. You are informed about the study, what to expect, and about any risks, benefits, and alternatives of the procedure.
This means that after Curewiki finds studies for you based on the information you provided on your profile, you will be redirected to the study. Then, you will first receive the full information on the protocol of the study. If you decide to give your informed consent, you can participate. You always have the right to leave a study or ask for extra information at any given moment.
Different types of medical studies:
There are various types of clinical studies, which all have different purposes, processes, and lengths. Here are some examples of how to learn about health problems and treatments: - by trying out new treatments and comparing them with the usual ones using different groups of people.
- by looking at people with a particular sickness and those without it to find out what might have caused it.
-by just taking a snapshot to find out how common a certain medical condition is and what possible factors could lead to developing this condition.
- by gathering information on what life is like with a particular disease. As such, it does not include any quantitative data but is based on experiences with a particular disease.
What are the possible risks for you?
During clinical studies, it is possible that one or some side effects appear. Obviously, during every step in clinical studies, you are handled with the utmost care, and every measure is taken to minimize any risks or side effects. Of course, it happens that a treatment will not be effective, and there is a chance that you receive a placebo instead of the tested treatment. Your physician will have an essential role in informing you about the various options available (placebo or medication). It is crucial to keep in mind that this process is extremely useful and necessary for the development of new treatments.
What expenses or payments can you expect?
In terms of costs or payment, every study is different. You do not have to pay anything to participate. In some cases, you could even be paid for your participation depending on your condition. For example, some studies offer payment for time and effort, others reimburse expenses such as travel costs and childcare.
You may find treatments; hospital stays or frequent trips to the study site to be demanding. In turn for your efforts, you will be subject to a specific medical follow-up and will be closely monitored before, during, and after the trial.
How can your participation make a difference?
By participating in a clinical study, you can play an active role in your health journey. You could also get access to the newest research treatments taking place in leading facilities that are not yet available on the market. Moreover, participating is a chance to be closely monitored by leading experts in their field. In any case, you are certainly playing a part in the improvement of treatments and contributing to a better life for many future patients. This is your way of being supportive!
Consulting your physician: A vital step
It is important to stress that Curewiki is not specialized in clinical studies, but we facilitate your connection with a suitable trial. If you are interested in participating, we encourage you to consult your physician to ask any further questions.