A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

Volunteers and Families

Understanding Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that test how well new medical approaches work in people. Each study answers scientific questions and tries to find better ways to prevent, screen for, diagnose or treat a disease. Clinical trials may also compare a new treatment to a treatment that is already available.

Every clinical trial has a protocol, or action plan, for conducting the trial. The plan describes what will be done in the study, how it will be conducted, and why each part of the study is necessary. Each study has its own rules about who can participate. Some studies need volunteers with a certain disease. Some need healthy people. Others want just men or just women.

In the United States, an independent committee of physicians, statisticians and members of the community must approve and monitor the protocol. They make sure that the risks are small and are worth the potential benefits.*

Making the Choice

Choosing to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision. This page offers information to help you to choose if participation in a clinical trial is right for you. In addition to the information provided here we encourage you to speak with your primary care physician and your family.

English Brochure
Should I Participate in a Clinical Study? A Guide to Clinical Research Basics

Spanish Brochure / Folleto en español
¿Qué es una Investigación medica o clínica? Guía para los que deciden participar en esta Investigación

Medline Plus: Clinical Trials

Food and Drug Administration
Provides information for individual considering participating in a clinical trial

*Courtesy of the National Institutes of Health

NLM Copyright Information

Government information at NLM Web sites is in the public domain. Public domain information may be freely distributed and copied, but it is requested that in any subsequent use the National Library of Medicine (NLM) be given appropriate acknowledgement. When using NLM Web sites, you may encounter documents, illustrations, photographs, or other information resources contributed or licensed by private individuals, companies, or organizations that may be protected by U.S. and foreign copyright laws. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use as defined in the copyright laws requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Specific NLM Web sites containing protected information provide additional notification of conditions associated with its use.

For Research Participant Questions or Concerns

Call Patient Relations at 909-558-4647 or send an email to PatientRelations@llu.edu. You may also submit a Reporting Form for Research Concerns or Grievances.