Patients to self report adverse events in clinical trials
A recent study has found that patients with cancer who were taking part in trials to test new treatments were both happy and able to document developments, such as any adverse effects of a drug. In fact, the research indicated that the patients reported more incidents during testing than the official investigators.
The results have indicated that it is feasible that patients can report adverse effects of a treatment while participating in clinical trials. This is positive news as it could open up a range of approaches to testing treatments that are accurate and focus more on the needs of cancer sufferers.
In the past, researchers would document any adverse outcomes or events when a drug was being tested. However, enthusiasm and interest is growing in gathering data on negative drug effects from the patients themselves. The study has made the option of patient-generated reports on drug effects a lot more feasible. Patients demonstrated that they could be extremely diligent in reporting symptoms.
In this particular study, 285 people participating in testing cancer treatments were surveyed. Of all the visits made to cancer centres and opportunities for documenting adverse outcomes, the patients scored more than 90 per cent in making reports of incidents themselves. Some opportunities were also missed due to the errors of staff rather than because patients overlooked them. In response to symptoms, the patients documented more incidences than the researchers. These missed incidences highlighted areas in which the experiences of patients possibly warranted a greater focus.
In some trials, patients are paid to take part. According to this report in The Guardian taking part in paid medical trials can be a good way of making some money.
Taking part in clinical trials for cash is becoming much more popular. If interested in finding out more about paid medical trials it would be a good idea to consult experts in the field such as http://www.trials4us.co.uk/ who could answer any questions you might have.
It seems that given a system that is easy to operate, patients can be an excellent source of information during treatment testing. As they can report on aspects of trials that researchers may overlook, the patient experience during a trial may, in fact, yield a more complete set of data.