Participate in a Clinical Trial

What is a clinical research study and why is it important?
A highly trained research team carefully conducts a clinical trial to find the safest and best ways to treat conditions in people and find new ways to improve their health. Only through clinical research can we gain answers about safety and effectiveness of drugs and therapies. Groundbreaking scientific advances in the present and past were possible only because of participation of volunteers, both healthy and those diagnosed with an illness. Clinical research opens new doors to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure disease and disabilities. Volunteers are essential to help us find treatments and hopefully cures.

What can I expect as a study volunteer?
Every day, many different types of people participate in clinical trials. Some are healthy, while others may have illnesses. Volunteers learn about our studies through local organizations, doctor’s offices, health fairs, and advertisements on television, radio, and in newspapers. By taking part in a clinical research study, you might help researcher’s find a new treatment, new medication, new device, or learn new information about your condition. Each clinical trial has different requirements for volunteers and the study team will determine if you qualify to participate.

During the study, the team will review your medical history, give you instructions for participating, and monitor your health closely. Some clinical research studies can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years and may involve more tests and doctor visits than you would normally have for an illness or condition. The research team will do its best to accommodate to your schedule.

What do I need to know if I am thinking of participating in a clinical research trial?
Before any research study can begin, it must be reviewed and approved by the FDA and Hartford Hospital’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), since certain clinical trials involve risks, just as routine medical care and the activities of daily living. The specific risks associated with a research study are described in detail in the informed consent document. The informed consent document provides information about a particular trial, including the purpose, duration, required procedures, and who to contact for any problems that may occur. The research document also explains the risks and potential benefits. A member of the research team will answer any questions you have about the study before you sign this document. Your signature indicates that you understand the study and have agreed to be a participant. This is not a contract, and volunteers are free to withdraw from the study at any time. All information gathered for a study is confidential, kept in secured locked files and available only to the research staff. Your identity is also protected in publications resulting from the study.

There are guidelines in place with any research study to protect patient volunteers and to preserve the integrity of the research being conducted.

Will I be paid to participate in a study?
Some pharmaceutical and device companies do provide support for transportation, parking, extra laboratory testing, and other costs that are encountered as part of participating in the study. However, this does not include tests performed as routine medical care.

May I learn the results of the study?
In most cases. once a study is completed and the data is analyzed, the study doctor can give you the study results. You will be given advice concerning your future medical care by the doctor running the trial. You will be asked to contact your primary care physician and continue any pre-study therapy.

Hartford HealthCare offers clinical trials in many specialties including:
General surgery, general medicine, cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, emergency medicine, orthopedic, neurology, gynecology, infectious disease, pulmonary medicine, radiology, trauma, urology, and oncology

How can I become a study volunteer?
If you are interested, you can talk to you doctor or healthcare provider to see if a clinical research study is right for you.

To learn more about being in a clinical research study or if you are looking for a clinical research study that is right for you, please contact:

Liz Roper, MHS
Director of Research
Hartford Hospital