What Are Clinical Trials and Why Are They a Great Research Tool?

Medical research is essential for the discovery, development and implementation of new and improved
methods for preventing, screening, diagnosing and treating a multitude of diseases, as well as improving
the quality of life for those suffering from illness. Clinical trials are medical research programs conducted
with patients.
So many remarkable medical advancements have discovered through the process of clinical trial
research. These amazing healthcare innovations include vaccines for influenza, measles and polio;
cancer treatments including radiation and chemotherapy, the drugs used to treat diabetes,
hypertension and HIV; plus antibiotics – which, as we know, are used to treat an enormous assortment
of infections.
Medical research comes in a variety of forms. First, there are observational studies which can be
conducted to help identify new possibilities for clinical trials. This form of medical research is used to
observe people in their natural settings. Observational studies provide researchers with the opportunity
to collect data and compare changes over time, as well as providing researchers with the ability to
observe a broad array of characteristics within various groups of research volunteers.
Observational studies come in many of their own forms as well, including case studies. Case studies
enable researchers to create a detailed description of one or more patients. Through this
documentation, the hope is that we can begin to learn about causes and risk factors associated with
new and unusual cases.
Ecological observational studies compare diseases within certain groups of people with particular
consideration of environmental conditions, such as weather and income. Cross-sectional observational
studies help identify factors associated with common conditions through a snapshot of a group of
people in one moment of time.
Cohort observational studies observe large groups over time, some of whom may develop a disease, to
learn more about how often it occurs and in an attempt to discover causes and possible risk factors.
There are also case-control observational studies. These compare a control group to a group of people
with a certain disease or condition.
This leads us to clinical trials. Clinical trials take things a step further. These studies are used to conduct
in-depth research into a disease, its cause, symptoms, and the method and speed of its transmission
and/or contraction; to learn how behaviors can affect health and/or specific conditions; to search for
cures, treatments, methods for early detection and so much more.
Clinical trials advance through four phases. The first tests a small group. The second increases the group
size as well as possibly the length of the study. Phase three, with the goal of attaining the approval of
the Food and Drug Administration, consists of even larger scale testing on thousands of people, some of
whom who will receive placebos. It tests for safety, dosage, efficacy and side effects. And because the

side effects of certain drugs may not become clear until more people have taken them for longer
periods of time, there is phase four.
So, what happens in a clinical trial? Clinical trial volunteers can participate in one clinical trial at a time.
They are provided with details about the purpose of that study, how long it will last and how long they
will continue to receive treatment. Clinical trial volunteers should ask any questions they have, including
those associated with privacy, whether they will be able to take their regular medications throughout
testing, possible risks and side-effects, etc. After clinical trial volunteers provide their consent to
participate in a clinical trial, they are cognitively and physically screened to determine if they meet the
criteria for the study. Once the clinical trial has ended, researchers will analyze the data collected. In
certain instances, some clinical volunteers may be kept informed about the results of the clinical study.
The strength of a study – with results confirming or contradicting previous findings or discovering
completely new findings – depends on the size and design of that study. Subsequently, large numbers of
clinical trial volunteers are essential to the success of this type of medical research; and volunteering for
a clinical trial can be a very good thing all around. Not only may clinical trials produce various benefits
for their volunteers, but the more people who enroll to become clinical trial volunteers, the more
quickly essential preventions, diagnostic methods, treatments and therapies will become available for
people who may need them now or in the future.
The professionals at Riverside Clinical Research are committed to enhancing lives through innovation
medicine. If you would like to join this deeply dedicated team to markedly contribute to significant
breakthroughs in medicine, you can learn more by accessing the Riverside Clinical Research patient
portal which can be found on riversideclinicalresearch.com. Additionally, please feel free to email any
questions to info@riversideclinicalresearch.com.
Riverside Clinical Research also makes it easy to become a clinical trial volunteer. Simply call Riverside
Clinical Research at 386-428-7730 Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Friday from 7 a.m.
to 12 p.m.
The Riverside Clinical Research doctors and experienced research professionals work closely with clinical
trial volunteers to monitor and assess the benefits and effectiveness of certain treatment. Riverside
Clinical Research volunteers are paid for their time, there are no costs for the medical procedures or
treatments provided at Riverside Clinical Research and there is no insurance necessary to participate in
Riverside Clinical Research trials.
Conveniently located at 1410 S. Ridgewood Avenue in Edgewater, Riverside Clinical Research is an
award-winning clinical trial facility that can support up to 26 in-house patients and a large number of
outpatients.