Public preferences regarding informed consent models for participation in population-based genomic research

1] Life Sciences and Society Program, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA [2] Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
Genetics in medicine: official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics (Impact Factor: 7.33). 05/2013; 16(1). DOI: 10.1038/gim.2013.59
Source: PubMed


Some large population biobanks that house biospecimens and health information for research seek broad consent from participants, whereas others reconsent for specific new studies. Understanding research participants' attitudes and preferences about broad and narrow consent may improve recruitment, retention, and public support.

An online survey was conducted among a representative sample of 4,659 US adults to examine relationships between consent preferences and demographic factors, beliefs about privacy and the value of research, and the perceived trustworthiness of researchers.

Participants preferred broad consent (52%) over study-by-study consent models (48%). Higher preferences for study-by-study consent observed among black non-Hispanic respondents and respondents with lower income and education were explained by differences in the prevalence of one or more beliefs about the study. Respondents with fears about research and those who would feel respected if asked for permission for each research use preferred study-by-study consent. Preference for broad consent was related to the desire not to be bothered with multiple requests and the belief that the study could lead to improved treatments, cures, and lives saved.

These data suggest that support for broad consent is contingent on sufficient information about data use. Work with research participants and community leaders to understand, respond to, and influence opinions about a given, ongoing study may improve uptake of broad consent.

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