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What are the disadvantages of taking part in research?

While research is intended to find out new knowledge and develop better treatments, there can be disadvantages to taking part:

  • If you’re on a treatment trial, you might experience some unexpected side-effects.
  • The treatment may not work any better than the current one or may not be as effective.
  • You can’t be sure of what might happen.
  • You might not enjoy the role you have.
  • You may need to take more blood tests or have more hospital visits than normal.
  • You might find that more commitment is needed than you expected.

Researchers are already likely to have an idea of what the outcome might be and will have done everything possible to ensure your safety. If you’re involved in a treatment trial and there are any signs that it may be unsafe, the trial will be stopped immediately.

If you do have a negative experience, don’t let it put you off in the future. There are many different things you can do, and sometimes telling a researcher about a negative experience can help to improve the way they conduct their studies and the experiences for the next people they work with.

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