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Why Participate?

Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know

Families come from around the region, country and even the world to participate in some of the innovative clinical trials happening at Children’s National. Through these trials, your child has access to advanced technology, the newest drugs and other innovative treatments that may help where traditional options fail. Taking part in a clinical trial can also help you learn more about your child’s condition and lead to knowledge that could benefit your child and other children around the world.

Healthy children can also help find cures for different diseases and conditions by participating in clinical trials. Doctors and researchers use data from children who do not currently have the disease or illness they are studying as a comparison or baseline in their trials.

Regardless of whether your child is healthy or ill, they will receive expert care by a team of Children’s National doctors, nurses, technicians and support staff when they participate in one of our clinical trials.

Deciding if a Clinical Trial is the Right Choice for Your Child

Making the decision to participate in a clinical trial at Children’s National is an important one. Before deciding, you should talk to your family members and your child’s doctor. Ask questions and make sure you get the information you need to feel comfortable about your decision. Participation is not right for every child or every family. It is a personal choice. You shouldn’t feel bad if you or your child decide not to participate in our research.

Becoming informed is an important step in deciding whether or not to participate in a clinical trial. Here are a few questions you may want to ask before enrolling:

  • What is the purpose of the trial?
  • What is my child’s role in the study?
  • Does my child meet the eligibility criteria?
  • What are the risks and benefits of participating in the trial?
  • Who will be in charge of my child’s care?
  • What kinds of tests and treatments are involved?
  • How long will the trial last?
  • How often will my child have to come to the hospital or clinic?
  • Who can I speak with about questions I have during and after the trial?
  • Will I have to pay for any of the treatments or tests?

For a printable list of questions to take with you when you meet with your clinical trial research team, see the Office for Human Research Protections' “Questions To Ask When Deciding Whether To Volunteer For Research.” Participation in a clinical trial at Children’s National is 100 percent voluntary. You have the legal right to leave the clinical trial at any time, for any reason.

Comic Book: Understanding Clinical Trials

Comic Book: Understanding Clinical Trials

This comic book explains to patients and their families what to expect from clinical trials.

A screenshot of Paper Kingdom video game

Video Game Demystifies Clinical Trials

Learn more about the Paper Kingdom, a video game that teaches families about clinical trials and how they are different from from regular care.