Volunteering for Clinical Trials – the patient’s perspective

Volunteering for clinical trials is always something that requires a great deal of thought and it’s often motivated by a personal experience of health issues and a desire to prevent problems for others in the future. Shirley Dimblebee is a regular participant and she shares her experiences and reasons with us as an encouragement for others to help out too.

Why did you decide to participate in clinical trials?

My husband had prostate cancer and he had medication to keep him as pain free as possible before he sadly passed away.

Some months later I listened to a radio programme about clinical trials and the need for healthy people to participate in them to help others.  We had been so grateful for the medication we had I knew I wanted to help the drug companies to continue to help others.

How many trials have you participated in so far?

12 – 14

What sort of trials have you been invited to take part in?

  • Neuropathic pain
  • Overactive bladder
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Heart failure

What is the best thing about participating in clinical trials?

Being healthy enough to take part and to help others.  I just hope I have done my part in getting the drugs passed.

We are well monitored and taken care of the whole time.  Not only whilst doing the trial, but before and after, by top class doctors and staff and you would not get a better health check up anywhere, even from your own doctor.

What is the worst thing about being a participant in a clinical trial?

I have always found the trials OK.  I have met lots of friends that have kept in touch.  I cannot think of anything bad.  We are always looked after.  Some units are better than others for facilities and food.

If you had some words of advice for other participants what would they be?

When you do a trial, you like me will feel quite proud.

You have hopefully helped others.  It could be yourself or a member of your family or friend that needs drugs to help them at some point.  Without you or me it will take longer to happen if at all.

I know it helps me to look after myself to try hard to stay healthy and fit.

I want to keep this good feeling to help others as will you if you give it a try.

(Please note that this is a sponsored post by Covance Clinical Research Unit).

Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Transformational counsellor, coach and women's health advocate. Professionally I'm an information scientist who specialises in change management, culture change and adoption of digital technologies in large enterprises and organisations. I am a writer and author of nine books to date, and I've edited a further seven; phew what a lot for a Thursday afternoon :-)

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