So you are thinking about whether to participate in a clinical trial? There is much to know in making your decision. In the past few weeks, we have been discussing many of the the important things you need to know (see Part One and Part Two). In this post, we will explore aspects of participating in a clinical trial.
As often promoted, patients who participate in clinical trials may gain access to new treatments before they are widely available, help others by contributing to medical research, and receive trial-related medical care. But not everybody is eligible to participate in any clinical trial. There are inclusion/exclusion criteria which come into play based on such factors as "age, gender, the type and stage of a disease, previous treatment history, and whether you have other medical conditions."
Inclusion/exclusion criteria make sure that researchers will be able to answer the specific questions posed in the trial protocol. Some research studies need participants with specific illnesses or conditions to be studied in the clinical trial, while others need healthy participants.
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