Why participating in research can be a rewarding experience

When considering joining a clinical trial, many individuals may feel unsure if it is the right choice for them. There are many things to consider when making this decision, and it is a personal one — but making the choice to participate in medical studies can be rewarding in many ways.

Clinical trials play a pivotal role in ensuring the approval of life-saving medications and treatments, but their success hinges on volunteers taking part. In this blog, we examine why participating in a clinical trial can be a rewarding patient experience, and provide guidance on how potential volunteers can discover relevant studies.

Reasons to participate in research studies

It helps advance scientific research. 

Clinical trials play a critical role in advancing scientific research. As a required part of the approval process for any new medication, clinical trials are integral to obtain data that determines the safety and efficacy of any new medical treatment. By volunteering, participants have the opportunity to be part of this process, and have their voices heard during the treatment evaluation process.

It helps others living with the condition.

Various types of clinical research are happening every day for a variety of conditions. Whether the study is aiming to improve treatments for common conditions or pioneer a new type of therapy entirely, each one can have an important impact on those living with the condition. Therefore, not only do those who participate in the study gain access to potential new treatments and personalized care, but the data obtained can help medical professionals gain knowledge that helps a broader population.

It’s a safe way to give back.

Safety is cited as one of the main concerns individuals face when considering clinical trial participation, but every trial has significant safeguards in place to protect every volunteer. Every trial’s protocol and patient-facing materials must be approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) of doctors, scientists, and other experts to ensure trials are ethical and protect participants’ rights. Additionally, the FDA reviews trials before patient volunteers can enroll, and participants are provided with an informed consent form that outlines all the details about the trial. Furthermore, participants are free to withdraw from the study for any reason.

The research team is a valuable resource.

We surveyed nearly 4,000 patients to find out what would make patients who participate in research feel like partners, not just participants. In response, patients across a number of therapeutic areas and socioeconomic statuses stated that they are highly interested in talking with various parties, including doctors, clinical trial coordinators and nurses, other patients, and the hospital or company responsible for the research. Fortunately, this is a possibility, as the research team is a valuable resource that can answer any potential participants' questions.

Once you’ve decided to participate in a clinical trial, finding the right one is key — and we make this easier with our state-of-the-art clinical trial search tool. To see which trials are currently enrolling, click the button below.