Skip to content

Clinical Trials: Questions to Ask

Before you join a clinical trial or study, it’s important to figure out whether it’s the right choice for you. Each study is unique, with different risks and benefits.  

When you talk to the study staff, make sure to find out as much as you can. Ask plenty of questions — remember, it’s the study staff’s job to answer them. Read these questions to get ideas for what to ask.  

Learn about the study

Understanding why researchers are doing the study can help you decide if it’s right for you.  

  • What is the purpose of this study? 

  • Why do researchers think this treatment might work? 

  • How is this treatment different from other treatments that are available?  

Ask about the risks of being in the study

It’s the researcher’s job to keep study participants as safe as possible, but all clinical trials have some risks — and it’s important to make sure you understand what they are.  

  • What do researchers know about side effects of the treatment? 

  • What are the chances that I will have side effects from the treatment? 

  • What are the possible short- and long-term effects of the treatment? 

  • How do the possible risks and side effects compare to my current treatment? 

Find out about the benefits of being in the study

There are lots of great reasons to participate in a clinical trial, but the specific benefits will depend on the study. 

  • How might the treatment help my condition? 

  • How else will I benefit from joining this trial? 

  • How will the results of this trial benefit other people like me? 

  • Will I be paid for participating? 

Learn what you can expect in the study

Before you decide to join, you’ll want to know exactly will happen in the study, and also what the study team expects from you.  

  • What will my responsibilities be if I participate? 

  • What kinds of tests, treatments, and procedures will happen during the study? 

  • Who will be in charge of my care? Will I be able to see my own doctor? 

  • Will I be able to continue with other treatments if I participate? 

Get all the details

Find out as much as you can about the logistics of the trial — the what, when, and how of participating.  

  • How will taking part in the study affect my daily life? 

  • How often will I need to come back for follow-up exams? 

  • How long will the treatment last? 

  • How much will it cost me to be in the study?

Last updated: June 26, 2019