Clinical trials are research studies that are designed to learn more about how to prevent, detect, and treat various diseases. They potentially can also help people with long-term illnesses improve their day-to-day experience living with their illness. Without research, doctors are unable to know the best ways to diagnose and treat children of all ages. Before deciding if a clinical trial is a good option for your child, it’s important to learn more about the study, including its risks and benefits.
What to Expect - Before the Trial
Learn more about the potential risks and benefits to make the most informed decision for your family. Understanding Clinical Trials printable version
Before deciding if your child should participate in a trial, you’ll spend time with the team to review possible risks and benefits and ask any questions you may have about the study. This process is called Informed Consent:
Another important consideration before your child begins a clinical trial is the potential impact it may have on your family’s existing lifestyle. Consider that your child being a trial participant may require the following:
Keep these things in mind when deciding if a trial is a good idea for your child.
What to Expect - During the Trial
They initiate the trial and can be doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and more.
This is where the trial happens. It can be a clinic, hospital, academic institution, or doctor’s office.
The Principal Investigator
This is the doctor or researcher; the person responsible for conducting the trial.
The Study Coordinator
This is the research assistant. They support the investigator to carry out the study.
Your child—or also, the “patient,” “volunteer,” or “study subject.”
Ethics Review Boards
These protect your child by reviewing the study and ensuring it’s ethical and fair.
Want to learn more about clinical trials for kids? Maybe you’ve wondered why scientists need clinical trials, how they work, and what happens if you join one? Choose the comic book for your age group to find out more!
Imagine for a moment you are a patient considering clinical trial participation. Or perhaps you have a family member or friends that are considering clinical trial participation. Either way, let's say you want to understand more about clinical trials and whether or not you (or your loved one) should participate. This blog explores the informed consent process in clinical trials.