Un enfant qui joue avec l'instrument d'un médecin.
A child playing with a doctor's stethoscope
Enroll in a Clinical Trial

Why Should You Participate in a Clinical Trial?

Participating in a clinical trial can help advance research, drive health innovation and, in the long term, provide better treatment options for the entire population.

Benefits and Risks for Participants

Benefits and Risks for Participants

Clinical trials are designed to limit risks to participants as much as possible. Before choosing to participate in a clinical trial, it is important to understand the full range of associated risks and benefits.


  • Contribute to increasing knowledge about a specific medical condition for the benefit of the public.
  • Benefit from regular and regulated medical supervision by a multidisciplinary team.
  • Contribute to the discovery and development of future treatments that could improve the quality of life of some people living with specific medical conditions.
Receiving an experimental treatment: advantage or disadvantage?

While some people in clinical trials receive a placebo or standard treatment, others may receive an experimental treatment before it is available to the rest of the population. Given the uncertainty surrounding the efficacy and side effects of an experimental treatment, this access can thus be seen as neither an advantage nor a disadvantage.

Risks and Discomforts

Some participants in a clinical trial may:

  • Not get the positive effects they hoped for, either because the experimental treatment does not produce the expected results or because they are given a placebo or standard treatment.
  • Experience more side effects than with the standard treatment. It is important to note that the earlier the phase of the clinical trial (for example, in Phase I), the greater the risk of the onset and severity of adverse reactions.
  • Need to adjust their lifestyle temporarily, depending on the type of trial. This may include a different diet or more time spent on travel, tests and completing questionnaires.
Participant safety and welfare always take precedence over research findings.

Research teams regularly monitor participants in clinical trials so as to minimize risks and discomforts, including those related to side effects. Participants in clinical trials also receive a contact card that lists, among other things, the support number for the medical team.

Making a Free and Informed Decision

Participation in a clinical trial is always voluntary. You can take as much time as you need to decide, and your decision whether or not to participate will not change the usual care you receive.

To help you make an informed decision, the research team and the clinical trial physician will explain the project to you and provide you with an information and consent form.

The research team is available to answer your questions. Your doctor and the team of health professionals, loved ones and family can also help you make the right choice for you.

The information and consent form will indicate:

  • The purpose of the clinical trial, its duration and the responsibilities of the participants.
  • The types of treatments tested during the trial.
  • The steps of the clinical trial: the number of study visits, their frequency and duration.
  • The benefits, risks and discomforts of participating.
  • The financial compensation for participation and reimbursement of travel expenses where applicable.
  • The health information collected as part of the clinical trial and the measures in place to protect participants’ privacy.
Une infirmière montre un document à une patiente.

Discussion guide: Questions to ask a healthcare professional before participating in a clinical trial

This guide has been designed to facilitate communication with a member of your healthcare team or a member of the research team about your possible participation in a clinical trial.

You can use this guide to record relevant clinical trial information about your medical condition.

Download the discussion guide
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