Ten years of dynamic consent in the CHRIS study: informed consent as a dynamic process

Ten years of dynamic consent in the CHRIS study: informed consent as a dynamic process
Deborah Mascalzoni, Roberto Melotti, Cristian Pattaro, Peter Paul Pramstaller, Martin Gögele, Alessandro De Grandi, Roberta Biasiotto
European Journal of Human Genetics, 5 September 2022
Open Access
The Cooperative Health Research in South Tyrol (CHRIS) is a longitudinal study in Northern Italy, using dynamic consent since its inception in 2011. The CHRIS study collects health data and biosamples for research, and foresees regular follow-ups over time. We describe the experience with the CHRIS study dynamic consent, providing an overview of its conceptualization and implementation, and of the participant-centered strategies used to assess and improve the process, directly linked to participation and communication. In order to comply with high ethical standards and to allow broadness in the areas of research, CHRIS dynamic consent was conceived as an interactive process: based on a strong governance and an ongoing tailored communication with participants, it aims to promote autonomy and to develop a trust-based engaged relationship with participants, also relevant for retention. Built within an online platform, the consent allows granular choices, which can be changed over time. In a process of co-production, participants views have been investigated and kept into account in policy development. Participants showed a high degree of participation, thus enabling the consolidation of the CHRIS resources. Even though a low change rate was reported in the baseline, participants valued the possibility of changing their informed consent choices. Communication (language-tailored, ongoing, multimedia) was important for participants, and for participation and retention. In our experience, dynamic consent was proven to be a flexible consent model, which allowed to meet ethical and legal standards for participation in research, and to accommodate participants’ and researchers’ needs.

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