Clinical Trials: Know the Lingo!

Clinical Trials: Know the Lingo

So, you’re interested in participating in clinical research! With benefits like potential access to breakthrough treatment options and the opportunity to help advance medicine for future generations, it’s no surprise. But there are a few things to know before you get started. Below are a few terms you should familiarize yourself with when considering a study.



A double-blinded study is a scenario in which only the pharmacist knows which medication the participant received. The rest of the study team is "blinded," or not informed, to prevent data biases.


The indication is the condition, disease, symptom, or set of circumstances the study is looking to treat with medication, procedure, or other intervention.

Interventional Study

An interventional study is a type of clinical study in which researchers are evaluating the effects of an intervention on a health condition.

Informed Consent

Informed consent is the document used by researchers to explain a clinical trial to the participants. The participant must sign this form to acknowledge that they understand the details of the trial, and they consent to participate.

Observational Study

An observational study is a type of clinical study in which researchers evaluate the health outcomes of groups of people in their everyday lives.


Placebos are inactive substances that are made to look exactly like the investigational substance. They are typically used as a control group and often compared against the investigational treatment to evaluate effectiveness.

Principle Investigator

The principle investigator is the person, typically a doctor, who is responsible for the clinical trial at a specific research site. They are responsible for the accuracy and reliability of the data the site collects.


The protocol is the written guide on which the clinical trial is designed. A protocol describes the objectives of the study, the type of subjects who may participate, the schedule of events (i.e., tests or procedures), the dosage to be administered, etc.


Randomization is a strategy used to randomly assign subjects to their study groups, or study arms. There could be many arms in a study including, but not limited to, experimental, active comparator, or placebo.


Now You're in the Know!

Now that you know some of the basic lingo of clinical trials, you are ready to find the study that is right for you. For more information about clinical trials, take a look at the rest of our blog series and our FAQ page! To find the study that’s perfect for you, visit our trials pages to view our currently enrolling studies. North Houston, South Houston, Lake Charles, and McAllen

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