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Clinical Trial Participation

  • By: Terrance L. Albrecht, Susan S. Eggly & Louis A. Penner
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Clinical trials are experimental research studies conducted to discover new ways to prevent, diagnose, treat, and possibly cure diseases such as cancer. When a patient is diagnosed in some clinical settings, usually academic medical centers, physicians and other health providers may assess whether the patient is medically eligible for one or more available trials. If so, the patient is offered at least two options: (1) to undergo standard of care treatment or (2) participation in a clinical trial, if available. How the physician and other members of the health care team discuss the option of a clinical trial with patients and their families and/or companions is important in assisting patients to make informed decisions about treating their disease. Trials are research studies and therefore can ...

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