Take a quick quiz to learn about the myths and facts about clinical trials

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Question 1 Clinical trials are scientific studies on volunteer human participants that help to discover better ways to prevent, detect, treat or cure diseases.

The primary goals of clinical trials are to find new drugs, therapies, or medical devices that improve or cure health conditions and to make sure they work well for patients.

Question 2 Participating in a clinical trial has the potential to improve your quality of life.

Participating in a clinical trial could possibly provide benefits that could improve your quality of life. For example, you may gain access to new and effective treatments available only to people participating in the trial, receive focused health care for your particular condition or learn more about your disease.

Question 3 Clinical trials are required by law to have safeguards to protect participants’ safety and privacy.

Clinical trials must have safeguards to protect the people who choose to participate. These safeguards are meant to protect participants from possible harmful side effects of the treatments being tested and protect participants from being treated unfairly during the research study. All clinical trials participants are protected under a Clinical Trials Participant Bill of Rights.

Question 4 Unless my doctor tells me about a clinical trial, there is no other way I can find out about one or be able to join one.

You do not need a recommendation from a doctor to participate in a clinical trial. You can search for clinical trials online, and it is your choice to request to join. You can always ask your doctor if they have recommendations for clinical trials you may qualify for, but this is not required.

Question 5 You must live near a major hospital to participate in a clinical trial.

False! Clinical trials are held at universities, doctors’ offices, community clinics and remotely through telemedicine. Ask your doctor about whether there are clinical trials near you, or search for nearby clinical trials yourself.

Question 6 Once you sign up for a clinical trial, you will not be allowed to drop out.

Participating in a clinical trial is always voluntary. You have the right leave the study at any time, for any reason, without any penalty.

Question 7 In many cases you can bring a family member or loved one with you to a clinical trial for support.

In many cases, you can bring someone with you for support unless otherwise mentioned. Many clinical trials will encourage you to bring someone to help you take notes or remember the information discussed about your treatment. If you are not sure whether you can bring someone, reach out to the clinical trial team to ask.

Question 8 The racial diversity of clinical trials participants does not affect clinical trial outcomes because medicine works the same for all people.

Having a diverse group of participants—meaning people of different races/ethnicities, genders and ages—is important to the success of clinical trials. Due to genetics, certain diseases are more common among certain races and ethnicities. Plus, treatments can work differently among different populations.

Question 9 Clinical trials participants are never paid for their participation.

Not all clinical trials offer money to participants, but some do. You might be given a stipend or reimbursement for certain aspects of your participation, like meals or travel costs. If you are considering participating in a trial, ask a member of the clinical trial research team whether you will be compensated for your participation, or what costs you might be responsible for if you participate.

Question 10 You can ask the researchers questions at any time when participating in a clinical trial.

Under the Clinical Trial Participant Bill of Rights, you are allowed to ask questions at any time throughout the entire clinical trial period. Do not hesitate to ask questions. Remember, you are not obligated or required to participate in a clinical trial if you change your mind.