What happens during a clinical trial?

The exact clinical trial process depends on the kind of trial being conducted. In general, the clinical trial team includes doctors and nurses as well as social workers and other healthcare professionals. They check the health of the participant at the beginning of the trial, give specific instructions for participating in the trial, monitor the participant carefully during the trial, and stay in touch after the trial is completed.

Some clinical trials involve more tests and doctor visits than the participant would normally have for an illness or condition. For all types of trials, the participant works with a research team. Clinical trial participation is most successful when the trial’s specific instructions (or protocol) are carefully followed and there is frequent contact with the research staff.