Facilitators and barriers for parental consent to pediatric emergency research

Facilitators and barriers for parental consent to pediatric emergency research
Clinical Research Article
Reagan L. Miller, R. Dawn Comstock, Lauren Pierpoint, Jan Leonard, Lalit Bajaj, Rakesh D. Mistry
Pediatric Research, 4 June 2021
Obtaining informed consent for clinical research in the pediatric emergency department (ED) is challenging. Our objective was to understand the factors that influence parental consent for ED studies.
This was a cross-sectional survey assessing parents’ willingness to enroll their children into an ED research study. Parents reporting a willingness to enroll in ED studies were presented with two hypothetical scenarios, a low-risk and a high-risk study, and then asked about decision influencers affecting consent. Parents expressing a lack of willingness to enroll were asked which decision influencers impacted their consent decision.
Among 118 parents, 90 (76%) stated they would be willing to enroll their child into an ED study; of these, 86 (96%) would consent for a low-risk study and 54 (60%) would consent for a high-risk study. Caucasian parents, and those with previous research exposure, were more likely to report willingness to participate. Those who would consent to the high-risk study cited “benefits that research would provide to future children” most strongly influenced their decision to agree.
ED investigators should highlight the benefits for future children and inquire about parents’ previous exposure to research to enhance ED research enrollment. Barriers to consent in non-Caucasian families should be further investigated.

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