What questions should I ask before participating in health research or clinical studies?

It is essential to be well-informed before you agree to participate in health research or a clinical study. Every study is going to have different benefits and risks associated with it. The following is a brief list of some possible questions you may want to ask before agreeing to participate.

  • What kind of study is this?
  • Why are you conducting this study?
  • Where does the study take place (ex. by phone, via mobile app, at a medical clinic)?
  • What will I need to do (ex. fill out a survey, donate biological samples such as blood or saliva, participate in a focus group, try a new medical treatment)?
  • Does this study involve a new medication or a medical device? If so, are there any side effects?
  • Is the treatment available outside of the study?

Usually, these types of questions are already addressed in the ‘Informed Consent’ but do not be afraid to ask if you still have questions. Even if you consent to participate in a health research or clinical study, you always have the right to withdraw. By asking the right questions and talking with the research team, you can find out if the study is a good fit for you before agreeing to participate.