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5 Common Clinical Trial Mistakes and Ways to Prevent Them

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A clinical trial is a research study in which new treatments – drugs, diagnostics, devices, and surgical procedures – are tested on human subjects to determine if they are safe and effective. Clinical trials are essential to developing new medical therapies, but they can also be complex and risky endeavours. Because of this, it’s essential to be aware of the potential mistakes that can occur during a clinical trial and how to prevent them. Here are five common clinical trial mistakes and ways to avoid them:

Not doing your research properly

Doing your research before starting any project or task is immensely important. Not only can a lack of research lead to uninformed decision-making, but it can also jeopardize the success and time of completion of any endeavour. A little bit of preparation and research will permanently save you time and effort down the line, so it’s best not to skip over an essential step like this.

The internet is ripe with sources that provide plenty of information from various experts and professionals in the industries that may be associated with the particular task at hand. Taking advantage of what these resources offer allows for sharper decision-making on each step of projects, allowing them to be completed more efficiently.

Relying on the internet for medical advice

Many of us turn to the internet when we need help with a medical question. We may read reviews, watch tutorials and explanation videos, or look up symptoms on search engines. But relying solely on virtual resources can be dangerous, and it’s important to remember that medical advice should be sought from a qualified or certified healthcare professional in a virtual or physical setting.

Advances such as virtual clinical trials have made experiences like virtual therapy more accessible and helpful for many. Still, virtual consultations via the internet are not always recommended in cases where the information provided could be misleading or incorrect due to a lack of context or training. It’s best to always seek confirmation from accredited sources before making any changes to your lifestyle or treatment plans.

Thinking that all clinical trials are the same

Many people assume that clinical trials are all the same. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Clinical trials serve many different purposes in the healthcare world and come in various forms based on what is being studied. Some clinical trials use only one group of participants to compare results with those from other studies, while others use two or more groups for comparison.

Depending on what stage the drug or treatment is at, the scope and length of a trial can vary drastically. It is important to note that if you are considering participating in a clinical trial, it is vital to do your research and ask lots of questions. This will help ensure that you make an informed decision before signing up.

Not knowing what to expect

Not knowing what to expect can be both exciting and scary. It is an opportunity to come out of one’s comfort zone and explore something new, but it can also leave us feeling vulnerable because there is no knowledge of the unknown. For example, if you step into a new class with unfamiliar students or decide to try out a new activity, there may not be any expectation of how it will turn out, and that can lead to apprehension.

To deal with this type of situation, it is essential to remember that taking on such risks can result in rewarding experiences, and it should be embraced as part of growing and learning.

Being afraid to ask questions

Asking questions is a powerful tool; it enables us to learn new things, discover exciting ideas, and gain greater clarity in difficult situations. However, many of us find ourselves becoming timid when it comes to voicing our concerns and queries, fearing the judgement or ridicule that may come with them.

While grappling with uncertainty can be intimidating and uncomfortable, it’s important to remember that putting yourself out there by asking questions is a sign of strength rather than weakness.

Asking thoughtful and well-worded questions helps others appreciate your intelligence and shows appreciation for their expertise in the matter. Be brave enough to ask hard questions. After all, you’ll never know what answers you might uncover if you don’t.

Final thoughts

As you can see, doing your research and being informed is of the utmost importance when considering participating in a clinical trial. Be sure to know what to expect by familiarising yourself with the project description and talking to the clinical trial team.

Not only that but don’t forget to be inquisitive regarding all things you may be uncertain about. Do not rely on the internet for advice regarding medical decisions, as it may not always provide accurate results. Remember, no two clinical trials are alike, so ensure you take full advantage of every question and answer session.

With knowledge comes power, and arming yourself with information related to the trial will give you greater insight into your choices. So do as we advised: never stop researching and asking questions until you feel confident enough to decide.


Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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