Types of clinical trial

There are 3 types of clinical trial:


An observational study involves no new treatments and solely the observation of your current state. It might include:

  1. samples being taken, such as blood
  2. measurements being taken
  3. an interview or questionnaire


Interventional studies involve receiving a new treatment, for example physiotherapy or new drug, to assess the impacts. These studies are generally:

  1. 'Placebo controlled' – some receive the treatment and others do not.
  2. 'Double blind' – neither the researchers nor patient know whether the patient has received the real treatment or the placebo until the end of the study.
  3. 'Randomised' – neither the patient nor researchers choose whether the patient gets the real treatment or the placebo.


Qualitative research aims to understand more about people's experience of living with a condition. This type of research involves being asked questions or having an open discussion. You might be asked questions about anxiety, pain, or of doing day-to-day activities, for example. The research team will try to identify patterns to understand the issues faced by people living with scleroderma, and ways to tackle them.

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