Clinical research is a branch of health care science that studies the safety and effectiveness of medications, devices and treatment programs intended for human use.
A clinical trial is one type of research that follows a pre-defined plan. By taking part in clinical trials, participants can not only play a more active role in their own health care, but they can also access new treatments and help others by contributing to medical research. A clinical trial involves research using volunteers that is intended to add to medical knowledge.
Every clinical study is led by a medical doctor. Clinical studies also have a research team that may include doctors, research coordinators, nurses and other health care professionals. Clinical studies can be sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, academic medical centres and other organizations. Medical doctors, health care providers and other individuals can also sponsor clinical research.
In general, the goal of clinical studies is to add to medical knowledge related to the treatment, identification and prevention of diseases or conditions. Some common reasons for conducting clinical studies include: