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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 262-265

A comparative study of the informed consent process with or without audiovisual recording

Department of Clinical Pharmacology, First Floor, New Multistorey Building, Seth G.S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Parel, Mumbai 400012, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
U M Thatte
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, First Floor, New Multistorey Building, Seth G.S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Parel, Mumbai 400012, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-258X.234392

Background. The Central Standard Drugs Control Organization (CDSCO) issued an administrative order in November 201 3 mandating audiovisual (AV) recording of the informed consent process for all regulatory studies. At this point, a phase 2/3 trial ongoing at our centre had recruited 45 participants using the written, informed consent process. Another 40 participants were recruited after the order and underwent AV recording of the consent process. We assessed the difference in participants’ understanding between the two consenting processes as the trial fortuitously had both forms of consent. Methods. A 16-item questionnaire with six domains (purpose, study procedures, risks, benefits, payment for participation, and rights and confidentiality) was designed and validated. It was administered to the participants after approval of the institutional ethics committee and written informed consent. Answers given were matched with a template of model answers. The responses were scored as fully correct (3), partially correct (2), ‘don't remember’ (1 ), and incorrect (0) with a total possible score of 48. Between-group analysis was done for total scores and domain-specific scores. Domain-wise analysis was done for the proportion of all categories of responses. The impact of potential confounders on participants’ understanding was also factored in. Results. A total of 38 respondents—21 in the AV consent group and 1 7 in the written consent group—agreed to participate. The total mean (SD) score of the AV consent group was significantly higher (40.3 [5.9]) compared to that of the written consent group (34.8 [7.94]; p = 0.01). Between the groups the score was significant in the domains of rights and confidentiality (p = 0.01). The proportion of participants who gave fully correct answers was statistically significant in the domain of purpose (p = 0.04). The time elapsed between the original consent and this study showed a weak inverse correlation (ρ = -0.3, p = 0.01). Conclusion. AV recording of the informed consent process in a clinical trial appears to improve the understanding of participants relative to the written informed consent alone.

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