What are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials, part of clinical research, look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. They can lead to medical advances that help improve people’s health and quality of life. Many people don’t participate in clinical trials for various reasons—fear, lack of trust, or lack of awareness, to name just a few. Click the resources below to learn more about clinical trials and how to educate members of your community about them. Here are a few helpful links about clinical trials.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is the regulatory agency that ensures the safety and efficacy of drugs, diagnostics, and devices. A recent Consumer Update published by the agency Importance of Diversity in Clinical Trial Participation explains why it is important.

Participating in Research Video Series:
Office for Human Research Protections has created a series of short videos with basic information about research. These videos are intended to help potential participants understand how research works, what questions they should consider asking, and things to think about when deciding whether to participate in a study.

  • Clinical Trials and You provides an overview of clinical trials, including registry lists, personal stories, and information on how to help raise public awareness of clinical trials.
    • Educational resources such as tip sheets, infographics and videos target the general public and special populations such as children, seniors, and Spanish speakers.  
  • ClinicalTrials.gov is a registry and results database about publicly and privately supported clinical research being conducted around the world. To find NIAMS-sponsored clinical trials, use the search term: NIAMS.

Why do Researchers do different kinds of clinical studies?

Personal stories about participating in clinical trials

Frank lives with rheumatoid arthritis. He shares his experience participating in a clinical study.
Delia lives with rheumatoid arthritis. Hear about her experience participating in a clinical study. English captions available.
NIH patient, Liliana Chavez, shares her experience living with lupus and how participating in NIH clinical research has helped her.
NIH patient, LaZann Allen, shares her experience with giant cell arteritis and treatment at NIH.
Shirley Aviles talks about her lupus diagnosis and treatment at NIH.

NIH patient, Kayla Martinez, shares her experience with neonatal onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID) and treatment at NIH.

NIH patient, Nicole Jackson-Taylor, talks about her diagnosis of lupus and subsequent treatment at NIH.

You can also contact our information specialists by email at NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov or toll free at 877–226–4267 (For telecommunications support, dial 711) for assistance in tailoring the publications for your community.

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