If you’re considering a clinical trial, or have been told you are a good candidate for a back pain clinical trial, then you probably have some questions about the process and how it works. Clinical trials are a way for the medical community to learn more about certain conditions and what works and what doesn’t.
What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a medical research study that uses human volunteers in order to answer a specific health question. It is often used to study different treatments or medicines. For example, the study might ask “Does this new treatment for back pain offer more relief than a previous treatment method?”
Why should I participate in a clinical trial?
If you are eligible for a clinical trial, there are several reasons why you might want to consider participating. It could give you access to new treatments before they are available commercially to everyone, and you may also gain access to leading health care facilities and staff during the experimental treatment. In addition, it may also help you to assist others who suffer from the same back pain issues.
Are clinical trials dangerous?
Clinical trials research is not without some risk. The risks can range from ineffective treatment to side effects that may range from mild to severe.
Am I a candidate for a clinical trial?
Not everyone with back pain is eligible for research clinical trials. Each trial will have its own listed specifics for inclusion. For example, some studies will be only for a certain age range or for those with certain types of back pain or back pain caused by certain types of injuries; always review the basic requirements of the clinical trials before participating in a particular trial.
How much does it cost?
There should be no fees to you if you participate in a clinical trial. In some studies, patients receive pay for their time spent as a participant in the study. The prices range according to the study, the risk involved and the time period that you are participating; however, you should not do a clinical trial just for the money that is involved and higher paying trials often carry more risk.
What questions should I ask before my clinical trial?
As part of your preparation for a clinical study for back pain, you should ask some questions about the study such as:
Who will be participating?
What is the purpose of the study?
Who is conducting the study?
Has the drug or treatment method been used before?
Do you have to pay for the procedure?
Will you be paid for your participation?
Will this study affect your daily life?
Will the study require hospitalization? And for how long?
How do you find out the results of the study?
How does the procedure work?
While each study is unique, here are the basics of most clinical studies include:
You will first be seen by researchers in the trial to get your health history and ensure that you are healthy enough to participate in the trial. You will then be given the study protocol (instructions on how to participate). You will be monitored during the length of the trial. This could be during an in-patient hospital stay or it could involve numerous doctor visits.
Once your clinical trial is complete, you will be told how you can stay in touch with the team for follow-ups and treatment information.