Clinical research is at the heart of medical advancements.
Choosing to participate in a clinical trial is an important, personal decision, especially for under-represented groups like women, racial minorities, people who live in rural areas, and people from across all educational and economic levels. Greater Gift understands the benefits and risks associated with your participation, which is why our passion is to recognize the selfless volunteers who make the decision to participate.
Before deciding to participate in a clinical trial, make sure it aligns with your values, goals, and expectations.
Greater Gift is committed to informing the community about clinical research -- the opportunities that research holds for each of us, and the opportunities to make a difference for others through participation.
Why Research Matters
Clinical research is medical research that involves people like you. Clinical trials need to have participants of different ages, sexes, races, and ethnicities to help improve the health of all people, now and in the future. Researchers need to test new treatments in all groups of people to ensure they are safe and effective for everyone who will use them.
Diversity in clinical trials is essential for ensuring researchers have a full picture of the risks and benefits of a new treatment. Groundbreaking medical advances, both in the present and the past, were made possible because of volunteer participation in clinical research.
What is a clinical trial?
At Greater Gift, we have found when people are informed about the process of clinical research they are more willing to participate. Clinical trials are at the heart of medical advancements. They look at ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases and medical conditions. They can study:
Developing medications or a combination of medications
Developing vaccines to combat viruses and illness
Developing medical devices and ways of doing surgery
Developing therapies or ways to improve existing treatments
How Research Works
Clinical research aims to address public health problems -- hypertension, diabetes, COVID-19 -- by developing new medicines, treatments, and medical devices. Every disease affects different populations uniquely; that is why equitable representation in research is so important. Clinical trials move through a series of steps, or phases, to gain more information about the new treatments, its risks, and its effectiveness.
Phase I Trials
Researchers test a treatment in a small group of people (20-80) for the first time to assess the treatment’s safety and identify side effects.
Phase II Trials
The new treatment is given to a larger group of people (100-300) to study its effectiveness and safety.
Phase III Trials
The new treatment is given to large groups of people to confirm its efficacy, monitor side effects, compare it to other existing treatments, and collect information that will allow the treatment to be used safely.
Phase IV Trials
After the FDA approves the new treatment for public use, researchers moniter its safety and continue to collect information about the treatment’s benefits and optimal use.
You have rights and protections as a patient volunteer.
Patient Bill of Rights
- Informed Consent
- Institutional Review Board
- Office for human resource protections
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The informed consent document is not a contract. You have the right to withdraw from a study at any time, for any reason.
What You Need to Know
Before taking part in a clinical trial, consider the possible benefits and risks. Some possible benefits of your participation include:
You gain access to cutting edge research.
You receive expert medical care for the condition being studied, even if you don’t have health insurance.
You contribute to medical research and treatment advances.
You gain understanding and engage more in your healthcare.
Some possible risks include: