What are the benefits and of participating in a clinical trial?

  • Access to promising new treatments often not available outside the clinical-trial setting.
  • Treatment that may be more effective than the standard approach.
  • Close monitoring, advice, care, and support by a research team of doctors and other health care professionals who understand your disease or condition.
  • The opportunity to be the first to benefit from a new method under study.
  • The chance to play an active role in your own health care and gain a greater understanding of your disease or condition.
  • The chance to help society by contributing to medical research. Even if you don’t directly benefit from the results of the clinical trial you take part in, the information gathered can help others and adds to scientific knowledge. People who take part in clinical trials are vital to the process of improving medical care.

For many, the hope of personal health benefit is their main or only reason for taking part. This might include getting a new drug or treatment they thought might help them; learning more about their condition; being screened (hoping either to be reassured or to get an early diagnosis); the chance of getting access to care they felt would be better or more specialised; or faster access to care. Some people added that they took part for their own interest or curiosity.

Most of us have in some way benefited from research without necessarily realising it (e.g. by taking medical drugs, benefiting from the use of certain equipment, being treated in a certain way or being in certain environment). People who take part in dementia research are contributing towards the care, treatment and wellbeing of countless numbers of people who have dementia, as well as others who may develop it at some time in the future. They may have varied reasons for wanting to be involved in research and different expectations about what it might bring.

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