What should I know about the end of the trial, right from the start?
The information sheet you received when the trial was first described to you before your agreed to take part should outline what the researchers think will happen at the end of the trial.
Typically, you will be asked to return all trial-related medications, devices, equipment, etc provided for the study, and the doctor will perform a final medical review for safety purposes.
The researcher will discuss your future treatment options which might include return to normal treatment, future research opportunities, or access to the intervention that was tested during the trial.
If you have any questions, you should ask the researchers.
Leaving a clinical trial can be a bit daunting, especially if you have had close or regular contact with the trial site team like a research nurse, who have helped you navigate parking, appointments, where to go, etc during the trial and have been a great support and friendly face. It can feel like you were part of something, then you shake hands, say goodbye, and are all on your own again.
Talk to your trial team about how your care will transition from the trial back to the normal healthcare system. In some cases, your trial doctor may be your normal doctor, and so your transition may be seamless. If your trial doctor is not your usual doctor, find out how the trial team plan to update your doctor on what happened during the trial and anything they might need to know in your follow-up.
Also ask whether the trial team plan to continue communicating with you or will put you on a database for further trials.
If you are feeling a little anxious about coming to the end of a trial, or a little lost after leaving one, our community is an excellent place to connect with others and ask about their experiences transitioning out of trials. It’s free to join, so find out more here.