Why be part of a clinical trial
New interventions that help people to live longer, have less pain or be free of disability are only possible because of the willingness of people to participate in clinical trials. Both healthy participants and those diagnosed with a disease or condition are needed to help find new ways to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure disease and disability. If more people are involved in clinical trials, it may reduce the time it takes to make new interventions widely available.
By taking part in a clinical trial, you can contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge and, in some cases, to improved health for yourself or others with the same disease or condition.
Australia conducts internationally recognised high-quality clinical trials. Australian clinical researchers have a wealth of knowledge and expertise that is helping to improve health care both in Australia and around the world. Clinical research also improves our health care service by improving patient care practices.
Why be part of a trial if you are healthy
Healthy people may choose to participate in order to help others, to contribute to improved health care or to contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge. Sometimes they have a personal interest in the specific trial or they might have a friend or family member with the disease or condition.
Like any volunteer work, clinical trials can also be a way to give back to the community.
Although volunteering to help improve the lives of family, friends or others is an extraordinary gesture of kindness, potential participants should think carefully about the demands on their time and the risks and benefits (if any) before enrolling in a clinical trial.
Why be part of a trial if you have a disease or condition
Patient participants with a disease or condition may decide to participate in clinical trials to contribute to better understanding of, or better treatment or a potential cure for their disease or condition. In some cases, clinical trials can provide access to new interventions before they are widely available.
Trials also offer the hope of developing better interventions or tests for a particular disease or condition, so that even if a trial does not provide a benefit for an individual, it may provide benefits for others with the disease in the future.
As a patient participant, even when you receive the highest quality care, you may also benefit from additional support and attention provided by clinical trial staff who understand your disease or condition.
Find a clinical trial website
Search for clinical trial registries, organisations, research networks, coordinating hubs and support groups by specific disease or condition.
Consumer guide to clinical trials
The Consumers Health Forum have developed a factsheet about clinical trials.
Questions to ask
Need help with questions to ask if you're thinking about being part of a clinical trial?
Download the Questions to Ask Fact Sheet (PDF, 253KB) and take it with you.