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    New Survey Reveals Clinical Trial Misconceptions


    Medical researchers looking at ways to encourage more people to take part in medical trials have discovered there is misunderstanding about what is involved, who can take part and the benefits.



    Statistics

    Despite 85% of people surveyed confirming they would want to help the NHS develop better more effective treatments, only 14% have ever taken part in a clinical trial.

    Diseases such as cancer, dementia and Alzheimer’s affect patients and their families across the world, and the best way of developing better care and treatment is to invest in more research, but many misconceptions are stopping people from considering and taking part in medical trials.

    The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have published data which shows that out of 2,000 adults asked, 23% wrongly assumed clinical trials were only for people who were ill, 58% thought children were not eligible, 38% thought all trials involved testing new drugs and 66% thought you needed to be selected to take part.



    Trials

    With companies such as Paid Research Studies by Trials4us offering paid research studies, there are many ways members of the public can help in the development of new and effective treatments. Despite the pressure on the NHS, medical research is progressing, and as this article published by the BBC news shows, the United Kingdom is at the heart of developments: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-44495092.

    The NIHR research also showed that those questioned thought all trials took place in hospitals and 56% had fears about the safety of the treatment - yet 87% of patients who had taken part in trials had a positive experience.

    Benefits

    Most hospitals in England run trials, and both patients and the public can get involved in how the trial is designed. Previous volunteers believe knowing you are helping other people is a worthwhile and positive experience. Patients taking part in trials could potentially be helping others in a similar situation to themselves as well as improving their own quality of life, and there are many cases where patients have trialled new treatments and benefited as a result.

    Taking part in a clinical trial is a personal decision, and often people are motivated by a personal experience or by that of a family member or loved one. There are many options available, and medical researchers are hoping more people come forward once they understand the implications are not always serious.

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