How to Find a Clinical Trial That’s Right For You – Part 3Leave a Comment
In Part 1 we examined basic resources to find clinical trials and in Part 2 we looked at how to set up alerts that will notify you of clinical trials you may be interested in. The right clinical trial can have great benefits. You get access to new treatments not available to the public, which may work better than current treatments. You get free care at top facilities and help expand our scientific knowledge which may help future generations. But, you must consider both advantages and risks. If you’re not comfortable with a lot of risk, your search can screen out studies with a risk level that is too high. In Part 2, we’ll look at two ways to do that, as well as other ways to further narrow the selection of clinical trials your search returns.
CONSIDER YOUR RISK TOLERANCE – If you’re concerned about possible risks, use an advanced search at ClinicalTrials.gov to screen out some trials. Under Targeted Search and “Interventions” you can specify the types of treatments you’d try. These include drug therapy, vaccines, procedures, surgical interventions, medical devices, and less intrusive options like lifestyle modifications, exercise programs, and education. Under Additonal Criteria, use ”Phase” to specify which phase trials you’re interested in. (Note: Clinical trials designated as phase I, II, III, or IV, indicate what stage they’re at in their research, including how much research has already been done. Find brief descriptions of each phase here: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/help/phase_instr and more detailed descriptions here: http://centerwatch.com/clinical-trials/overview.aspx.)
NARROW YOUR FOCUS – While the sites listed in Part 1 help you search by condition, location or other details, you may also want to try a site with a more specific focus.
- Geographic Area: Choose the top Research and Teaching Hospitals in your area and check their websites. They may have a section to search for research being done within their own Hospital, University, or Health System.
- Specific Health Condition: Do a search using the phrase “clinical trial” plus a particular health condition. You may find a site affiliated with a university, government organization or nonprofit that focuses on research related to that particular condition. RESOURCES – Here are a few examples:
Have you ever been in a clinical trial? What advice would you give to someone else who is considering participating in a research study? Please tell us about your experience in the comments section.