Types of Clinical Trials
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, clinical trials are “research studies that test how well new medical approaches work in people. Each study answers scientific questions and tries to find better ways to prevent, screen for, diagnose, or treat a disease. Clinical trials may also compare a new treatment to a treatment that is already available.”
The medical community recognizes several types of clinical trials. All involve human participants and follow a specific plan, known as a protocol, to evaluate the effect of a medical or behavioral treatment on health outcomes. Clinical trials are typically conducted in hospital settings, including Baptist Health facilities.
Types of Trials
Clinical trials feature two primary approaches:
- Interventional trials – Interventional trials test the safety and effectiveness of a new drug, therapy, treatment, or technology as applied to a specific health condition.
- Observational trials – Rather than testing a new drug or treatment, observational trials focus on the collection of medical data over a specified period of time. These trials may be designed to explore the effects of an existing treatment in a particular population, or may be used to gain a better understanding of a disease’s features and how they affect the human body.
Clinical trials can be:
- Prevention trials – Prevention studies explore possible means of halting the onset of particular diseases or conditions. These often take the form of long-term studies where a patient commits to following a prescribed regimen. Data is then collected to see whether the disease or condition develops.
- Diagnostic trials – Diagnostic trials investigate new ways in which diseases or conditions are detected by medical science. The goal of these trials is to develop tests or procedures for diagnosing conditions:
- at an earlier point in time, or
- more accurately than prevailing tests or procedures.
- Genetic trials, which employ genetic analysis to determine the heritability of certain diseases or conditions, are considered diagnostic trials.
- Treatment trials – Treatment trials test specific drugs, therapies, or technologies when used to cure or reduce the symptoms of a specific disease or condition.
- Quality-of-life trials – Quality-of-life trials explore the various ways in which patients can maintain a certain level of comfort and effectiveness while living with a particular disease or condition.
“Clinical trials are research studies that test how well new medical approaches work in people. Each study answers scientific questions and tries to find better ways to prevent, screen for, diagnose, or treat a disease. Clinical trials may also compare a new treatment to a treatment that is already available.”
~U.S. National Library of Medicine
Patients Are the Point of Research
Baptist Health participates in a wide variety of trials with a focus on providing our patients with more and better treatment options. Your health and recovery is the motivation behind our research.
Learn more about Baptist Health’s Clinical Trials.