Clinical research trials are scientific investigations of new medical treatments, usually drugs, which have shown some benefit in animal or laboratory studies but have not yet been proven effective in humans. There are clinical trials healthy volunteers who agree to participate in these studies and have data collected about their reactions to the treatment, which they are often compensated for. There are a few different ways of classifying clinical research trials, since there are many different goals that researchers have when they conduct these studies.
It is possible to classify clinical trials by the way that the researchers behave when they are conducting the investigational study on the participants. Investigators might observe the clinical trials healthy volunteers and measure their outcome without actively managing the experiment, which is known as an observational study. Investigators might also give the clinical trials healthy volunteers a certain medicine or intervention, which is known as an interventional study. This is the kind of trial that people usually refer to when they are talking about investigational drugs. A more thorough way of classifying clinical research trials is by their purpose, which there are three of according to the United States National Institutes of Health:
1. Prevention Clinical Trials Search for better ways to prevent diseases, with clinical trials healthy volunteers who have never had the disease, or try to prevent a disease from returning in patients who have recovered from it. These approaches may include medicines, vitamins, vaccines, minerals, or lifestyle changes.
2. Screening Clinical Research Trials Test the best ways to detect certain diseases or health conditions.
3. Diagnostic Trials Conducted to find better tests or procedures for diagnosing particular diseases or conditions.
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