Clinical Trial FAQs

Participating in a Clinical Trial or Research Study

BIDMC researcher with a clinical trials volunteer

As you consider treatment options for yourself or a loved one, you may consider participating in a clinical trial or research study. New medical techniques, drug discoveries, and device inventions are created every day to help improve our quality of life from clinical research. Participating in a study is a way to contribute to the advancement of medical innovation.

Clinical research is research involving people that is intended to add to medical and scientific knowledge. Types of clinical research include:

  • Clinical trials, which evaluate the safety and/or effectiveness of an intervention or new therapy
  • Observational studies, where the researcher is looking to understand natural relationships or some aspect of human health without manipulation or intervention.
  • Epidemiological studies, where the researchers are looking at patterns, causes and effects of health and disease in different groups
  • Behavioral studies, which seek to better understand how human behavior impacts health and disease.

The information and links below will provide you with more information about clinical research and other resources that may be available to you.