Graduate students reported practices regarding the issue of informed consent and maintaining of data confidentiality in a developing country

Graduate students reported practices regarding the issue of informed consent and maintaining of data confidentiality in a developing country
Research Article
Samer Swedan, Omar F. Khabour, Karem H. Alzoubi, Alaa A.A. Aljabali
Heliyon, 9 September 2020; 6(9)
Abstract
Research involving human subjects requires strict adherence to ethical principles, including informed consent and assuring data confidentiality. Herein, a questionnaire was utilized to assess compliance of graduate students who conduct research involving human subjects in Jordan with proper practices related to informed consent and maintaining of data confidentiality. Among the 251 respondents, 55.4% were from health-related fields, 61.4% undertook research involving humans, and 48.6% did research requiring institutional review board approval. Only 37.1% of respondents reported exposure to research ethics education during their graduate study. Satisfactory adherence to informed consent practices was reported at rates of 56.0%–67.5%. Satisfactory adherence to practices related to data confidentiality and study participants’ anonymity was reported at rates of 67.3%–74.7%. Sharing of data or samples with others was reported at a rate of 24.3%. The rates of adherence to proper informed consent practices and practices that maintain data confidentiality were less than ideal. Significant policy changes need to be implemented to address these issues.

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