Who can participate in a research project?
In general, everyone can participate in a clinical study. However, every clinical study has certain criteria concerning who can participate in the current research project. These are called inclusion and exclusion criteria;
Inclusion and exclusion criteria are based on factors such as the participant’s previous treatments, the type or stage of a disease, sex, age, and whether the participant uses certain medication. Before participating in a clinical study, you must undergo a ‘screening’ (feasibility assessment), which will clarify whether you fit to participate in the current study. Some clinical studies seek participants with a certain disease, while other studies need healthy participants. It is important to note that the criteria are not made to reject people personally. Instead, the criteria are made to ensure the safety of the participants.
If you meet the inclusion criteria, it means that you can participate in the study. In order to participate in the study, consequently you must meet all the inclusion criteria. If you meet any of the exclusion criteria, it means that you cannot participate in the current study. For example if you meet the requirements regarding which stage of the disease the participant must have, you might meet this inclusion criterion, but you may not meet the age requirement the study has, and therefore you will be unable to participate in the study.
These criteria vary from study to study. Therefore, you might meet the criteria of another clinical study. The criteria are necessary to achieve the most reliable result as possible.