How to tell family & friends you’re taking part in a clinical trial

So you’ve told family and friends you have gynaecological cancer. It was probably one of the most difficult things you have had to share. Now how do you tell them you’re taking part in a clinical trial? It should be easy, right? For some people this is also a very difficult subject to bring up with loved ones. Here we provide some tips on how to approach the topic.

As with any difficult conversation, make sure you’re ready first. Then choose a time and place that’s appropriate – a space that allows for discussion and questions like what is a clinical trial? Or ‘why on earth would you want to participate?’ Be ready to explain your personal motivations for volunteering, as well as the specifics of the trial.   

The benefits are different for every individual but they may include:

  1. The opportunity to try a new treatment or approach before it is available to the public
  2. Medical attention and support throughout the trial from health professionals
  3. The chance to contribute to medical research and help other women with cancer.

Your family and friends may have more questions than you can answer. It’s OK. Refer them to accurate resources, like Australian Clinical Trials and the QCGC website. You could also invite them to talk with your health professional.

Remember to tell them that every QCGC clinical trial is reviewed and approved by the Human Research and Ethics Committee. All of our trials are conducted according to international standards of good clinical practice.

After discussion, your family and friends may remain hesitant about clinical trials but keep in mind, ultimately the choice to participate or not is yours.

Last updated:
14 December 2016