Clinical study volunteers help advance research and improve patient care. Clinical trials test the effects and safety of new drugs, devices and therapies. If you are thinking about participating in research, there are many things to consider.
Questions to Ask Before You Agree to Participate in a Research Study
The federal government's Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) suggests some questions that you should ask before you agree to participate in a research study:
- Why is the research being done?
- What will be done to me as part of the research?
- How will I benefit from the research?
- Could the research hurt me?
- What will the researcher do with my information?
- Will the research cost me anything?
- Who pays if I'm unexpectedly injured in the study?
- How long will the study last?
- What happens if I decide to leave the study early?
- Who should I call if I have a question about the research?
OHRP's brochure called "Becoming a Research Volunteer", available in both English and Spanish versions, can be found by clicking here.
Bill of Rights for Research Participants
As a research participant, you have the right to:
- Be free of pressure from anyone else when deciding if you wish to take part in a study
- Make up your mind about taking part in a study without being rushed
- Be told what question, topic, or issue is being studied
- Be told what will happen and what the procedures are
- Be told about the potential risks or discomforts, if any, of the research
- Be told if you can expect any benefit from taking part and, if so, what the benefit might be
- Be told if there will be no direct benefit to you
- Ask questions about the study at any time before, during or after the study
- Be told what medical care is available if you have any problems or injuries resulting from the study
- Refuse to take part in the study at any time
- Quit after the study starts, without any penalty
- Receive a copy of your Informed Consent Form to keep.
Duke Physician Locator Web Page
Resources for Finding a Clinical Trial
You can search for active Duke Health trials:
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) provides information on their web site about their clinical trial programs and initiatives.
The CenterWatch Clinical Trials Listing Service assists patients in finding and volunteering for clinical trials. On their web site you may search for clinical trials by medical condition and by geographic location.
ClinicalTrials.gov is a national web registry of federally and privately supported research studies conducted in the US and around the world.
To learn more about pediatric studies, visit:
The Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP) is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to educating and informing the public and patients about clinical research. CISCRP also provides information and resources to help research and health professionals better serve their patients and study volunteers.
Do you have a question, concern or complaint about your involvement in a research study or your rights as a research participant? If so, please feel free to contact the IRB confidentially. You may call us at (919) 668-5111 or click here to email us.