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Barwon Health / Research

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Questions to Ask

If you are thinking about being part of a clinical trial, you should know as much as possible about the study, your involvement and the commitment you are making.

Below are some questions you may like to ask:

About the trial

  • What is the aim of the trial and how will it help people?
  • Has the intervention been tested before and, if so, what was the outcome?
  • Will the trial use a placebo (a ‘dummy’ treatment), standard care or another established intervention as the control to compare with the new intervention?
  • Who is funding the trial?

Your involvement

  • How might this trial affect my daily life? How much of my time will be needed?
  • What kinds of tests and procedures are involved?
  • Will I have to complete questionnaires or keep a diary?
  • Will I need to spend time in hospital?
  • Will I need to take time off work or school?
  • Where will the trial be conducted and will I have to travel to be part of it?
  • Will I be able to take my regular medications while participating in the trial?
  • How long is the trial expected to last? How long will I have to be part of it?
  • What will happen if I stop the trial intervention or leave the trial before it ends?
  • Who will be in charge of my care? Who can I contact for support and information during the trial? Will someone be available 24 hours a day?


  • What are the risks of taking part in this trial? What are the possible side effects of the trial intervention?
  • How do the possible risks, side effects and benefits in the trial compare with my current treatment or care?
  • If people receiving one intervention in the trial respond much better than people receiving the other intervention or standard care, will all participants be given access to the more effective intervention?


  • Who will pay for the experimental intervention?
  • Will I be paid to participate in the trial?
  • Will my expenses be covered?
  • If there are complications that arise from the trial, who is responsible for paying for any costs that are associated with them?

After the trial

  • What follow-up care is available after the trial?
  • How long will it be before the results of the trial are known?
  • How do I find out the results of the trial?
  • Will I have access to the experimental intervention after the trial if I wish to continue with it?


Last Modified: Tuesday, 09 June 2020

Acknowledgement & further information

The content on this website has been adapted from

NHMRC Australian Clinical Trials

Medicines Australia