When you think of clinical trials, you might think about researchers trying out new medicines on people to see how well they work for a certain disease. This is one type of clinical trial, but there are many other types that look at many different aspects of health.

Different types of clinical trials are:

  • Treatment trials test new medicines, treatments or therapies for a disease or health condition.
  • Prevention trials look for new and improved ways to prevent a disease or a health condition. Prevention trials may involve testing out medicines, vitamins, vaccines or lifestyle changes.
  • Diagnostic or screening trials study the best ways to diagnose or detect a disease or health condition.
  • Quality of life trials study how the side effects of a treatment (like dialysis) affect the patient’s well-being and daily functions. 
  • Genetic trials look at how genes (DNA) are related to certain diseases or health conditions.
  • Epidemiological (ep′i·de′mi·o·log′i·cal) trials look for patterns of certain diseases or health conditions across groups of people (for example: people of certain races/ethnicities may have a disease more than others).