Clinical trials and research studies can be intimidating—even more so when medical jargon and clinical language can make you feel like you need a dictionary on hand just to understand what the doctors are talking about. It’s easy to feel like you might not belong or that participating in a study might be over your head. It doesn’t need to be this way, however. With a little work and a little research you can find out enough to understand what you’re signing up for.
Signing up for a research study can get complicated. There are studies that are only looking for people who suffer from a certain condition, while others are open enrollment. Clinical trials, including those in Salt Lake City, Utah, that use language like “accepting healthy volunteers” allow healthy people who do not have specific conditions or symptoms to participate in research studies. Most studies are testing the efficacy and safety of drugs in treating certain symptoms, and more often that not are looking for volunteers with specific conditions and symptoms.
A common phrase you’ll hear with medical trials is “double blind.” Have you ever wondered what this means? It’s a common phrase used to describe an effective method of running a clinical trial. Double blind masking is a system in which the investigators and patients involved don’t know which participants have been assigned the actual drug or a placebo. There are also single blind studies in which only one of the parties involved, investigator or patient, does not know which intervention the participant is receiving. These methods erase any potential bias from the equation. Each of these studies is designed to demonstrate conclusively that medicines are effective and safe for human use while eliminating as many of the possible complications as possible.
A lack of familiarity with medical terms shouldn’t keep you from participating in a clinical study, especially if you have a condition that needs to be researched further. There are many avenues available for learning more about clinical trials like clinical trial glossaries and more. Ultimately, if you have questions about aspects of clinical trials you can always ask the doctors or research staff administering the trial. Participating in a clinical trial can be a very rewarding experience. Don’t let a lack of information keep you from doing a service to yourself and others.