Incentives in Pediatric Research in Developing Countries: When Are They Too Much?

Incentives in Pediatric Research in Developing Countries: When Are They Too Much?
Erwin Jiayuan Khoo, Devan M. Duenas, Benjamin S. Wilfond, Luke Gelinas, Armand H. Matheny Antommaria
Pediatrics, 20 January 2023
When incentives are offered to parents and their children to partake in research, there are concerns that parents may be unduly influenced by the incentives, and the children may be exploited. We present a case from a low- and middle-income country and consider the ethical issues that arise when the children are asked to participate in a multinational, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the effects of a nutritional supplement on growth. The first commenter, from Malaysia, notes that their residents might not share Americans’ expectations regarding children’s role in the consent process from a cultural perspective, which may alter the analysis of the concerns. The authors of the second commentary emphasize the use of incentives that benefit the child participant rather than their parent or are provided directly to the child participant to address the concerns. The third commentator discusses the importance of minimizing the study’s risks and balancing the benefits and the risks, which attenuates the concerns.

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