Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

You are not allowed to take part (in a study) if you do not have a trial partner/caregiver who is close to you; sees you at least 3 days each week for a minimum of 6 hours each week while you are awake;

What does "trial partner" mean in this context?

share|improve this question
    
The "trial" probably refers to the study, which is also known as a trial (of a medication, therapy, or some other sort of medical regimen being studied). –  Robusto Mar 16 '13 at 12:37
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It means a partner for the trial: to help the subject take part in it and presumably to help ensure that there are no ill effects from taking part and to report or corroborate them if there are.

It's unfortunate wording. A trial run is an exercise to test something when it is done in earnest; a trial partner could easily mean that the partnership is under test. Given the context of a medical study or trial, that meaning is unlikely (and could be positively dangerous — the subject needs to be absolutely certain that their partner is reliable).

share|improve this answer
1  
That is correct. It is fairly common wording for clinical trials. Usually the mention is something along the lines of a "competent trial partner" or a "reliable trial partner". –  Bart Mar 16 '13 at 12:46
    
Thank you for the help. So it is not a spouse or a legally accepted partner for life other than wife/husband. Because this is what I was also contemplating. –  Robert Mikle MD. Mar 16 '13 at 13:05
    
Now that gives an entirely new meaning to "trial partner" I hadn't thought of. It must be my cloistered life. –  St John of the Cross Mar 16 '13 at 13:08
    
@RobertMikleMD. The meaning (from my understanding) will be something along the lines of "Is there someone with you a significant amount of time for the duration of the trial who can keep an eye on things". I.e. we don't want participants to be completely on their own. –  Bart Mar 16 '13 at 13:32
    
Thanks, completely agree with you, I just can not give it back with a simple phrase in my mother tongue. Is there any English synonym for that, i.e. trial help or study-related person at hand, etc.? –  Robert Mikle MD. Mar 16 '13 at 13:52
show 3 more comments

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.