Karolinska is one of Europe's leading university hospitals. We will be the best at the difficult things and lead the development of healthcare through new treatments, working methods and technology. But we can't do it without you. The participation of patients and relatives in research, education and innovation is crucial for tomorrow's healthcare.
Karolinska is a university hospital and as a patient you have a particularly important role with us. With the help of your experience, knowledge and participation, we can train the healthcare professionals of the future and develop healthcare with the patient's needs in focus. Patients and family members contribute in many different ways and levels, from meeting students during their visit to running innovation projects at the hospital. And the choice is always yours - you get the best possible care whether you decide to accept or reject a research study, an innovation project or a training situation.
What are clinical studies for and what are they investigating?
A clinical trial can increase knowledge about a particular patient group, a medicine, a specific treatment method or a medical device. The design of studies can therefore vary, but all aim to contribute to the best and safest possible care. Here are some examples of what can be investigated:
- how effective a new surgical method is
- how patients tolerate a new medicine, such as a chemotherapy drug
- how effective an existing drug is against a new disease
- which exercise is most effective in rehabilitation after surgery.
Why should I participate in a clinical trial?
The reasons for participating in a clinical trial can vary. For example, as a patient you have the opportunity to influence the state of knowledge about your own disease or future treatments.
Even as a healthy person, you make a great contribution to other people. Clinical studies advance medical knowledge, which saves lives and improves the quality of life for future patients.
Contribute to the training of future healthcare professionals
Every year, thousands of hours of training are carried out at the hospital, both at undergraduate and specialist level. You may therefore meet students during your visit and we hope you will want to be part of their training.
When can I meet students?
Students are part of everyday life in a university hospital. You can therefore meet students in most of our departments and clinics, from several different student categories. Two major educational groups at Karolinska are medical and nursing students.
How does it work?
All undergraduate students always have a supervisor who is responsible for all patient care. Under supervision, the student can practice various skills such as examination techniques, nursing, interpreting laboratory results and reaching a diagnosis. But patient encounters are also about communication - which is a valuable part of the training. Each encounter gives the student a chance to learn from you and see healthcare from your perspective.
Can I say no?
Yes, you can. All participation in training is always voluntary. When you are asked about the student's participation, you can choose to decline. And if you choose not to participate, it will not affect your treatment. You will receive the best possible care regardless.
Create new solutions in innovation projects
Karolinska also works with innovation to improve and simplify for patients and staff. This often takes the form of collaborations where patients and relatives are an important group, together with healthcare professionals, researchers, companies and authorities of various kinds. The result of our joint efforts will be even more effective treatment, better equipment, smarter care processes, more cost-effective use of our tax money and new ways of meeting.Patient and family involvement in innovation projects can take many forms, from answering questions in surveys to managing sub-projects.
How does it work?
Before participating in the study, you have the right to receive oral and written information. This includes knowing the purpose of the study, how your personal data will be handled, what action or treatment, if any, is involved, what examinations are included and what is not part of clinical routine and current standard treatment.
Depending on the type of study, you may also be asked to sign consents for the study and the handling of any blood and tissue samples collected in a biobank (biobank samples).
Can I change my mind?
You always have the right to withdraw from the study without giving a specific reason. If you are participating in a study investigating a new treatment or drug, you will receive the standard treatment you may have had before.
How can I participate?
Hundreds of clinical studies are ongoing at Karolinska University Hospital and if you are already a patient here and fit the criteria for a study, you will usually be asked by your doctor. However, the staff may also actively look for study participants through advertising. Advertisements are often placed with patient organizations, but you may also find advertisements in newspapers or social media.
In our clinical studies database, you can see which clinical studies are currently enrolling new study participants. At present, the list is only available in Swedish, so many of the studies in the list do not include participants from other countries.
Vaccelerate is an EU-funded network for vaccine studies, coordinating 400+ centers and a shared database. Karolinska leads Sweden's participation.