There are two “types” of people who will be able to participate in clinical trials. Some volunteers are healthy with no major health problems whilst on the other hand, other volunteers may have an illness or disease which is somehow related to the tested treatment. Those who are healthy are simply known as “healthy volunteers” whilst those who are ill are known as “patient volunteers”. But what is the real difference between the two?
Healthy volunteers are participants who “serve as controls for patient groups”. These people are often grouped together with other participants of the same gender or age, for example. Another regularly used term for these participants is “normal volunteers”, in that they do not suffer from a specific disease or illness at the time of the clinical testing period. These control volunteers will be given the same treatment or test as that of the patient volunteers. The reason for this is to help researchers determine the effects of the drug or new treatment to healthy people versus those assigned to the patient category.
Patient volunteers are those participants that suffer from a certain condition or illness that is relevant to the clinical trial at hand. According to NIH, the reason why patient volunteers are necessary in clinical trials is because researchers need to be able to prove the effects and limitations of the experimental treatment. Patient participants help to further knowledge of the treatment and in some cases, the patient volunteer may even be cured from their illness as a result of the treatment involved with the clinical trial.
Who can Participate?
You can’t just show up at a clinical trial and expect to be approved on the spot. Each trial comes with a set of relevant guidelines referred to simply as the Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria. In addition to volunteers, Clinical Trial Assistants are also required and can be provided by such companies as http://www.gandlscientific.com.
As you can probably guess, the guidelines included in the Inclusion criteria section showcase factors that allow people to become active participants. On the other hand, the exclusion criteria outline those that do not enable a person to participate. A variety of factors may be relevant towards determining a person’s eligibility to contribute to a clinical trial. These include aspects such as gender, age, treatment history and other relevant medical conditions.