Patients' preferences for enrolment into critical-care trials
ABSTRACT Most critically ill patients are incapable of providing informed consent for research.
We sought to determine patients' preferences for different consent frameworks for enrolling incapable patients into critical-care trials.
Prospective observational and structured interview study.
Five university-affiliated hospitals in Ontario.
Two-hundred and forty consecutive capable and consenting survivors of critical illness.
Participants considered four frameworks for enrolling incapable patients into clinical trials using a baseline scenario and three permutations for: risk (very low vs. high), treatment type (new vs. currently available), and availability of substitute decision-maker (yes vs. no).
For each scenario, patients chose their preferred framework and rated the acceptability of each framework using a seven-point Likert scale. Most (180/240; 76%) patients selected "consent by substitute prior to enrolment" as their preferred framework; this also received the highest baseline acceptability ratings ("acceptable" or "highly acceptable" 207/240; 87%). Modifying risk or treatment type did not substantially change these ratings. A minority of patients rated delayed consent as unacceptable or highly unacceptable in both the baseline scenario (48/240, 20% delayed to substitute; 57/240, 24% delayed to patient) and when a substitute was unavailable (34/240; 15%).
Most survivors of critical illness found the usual practice of obtaining informed consent from a substitute decision-maker prior to enrolment in a clinical trial to be acceptable. Nearly half of patients considered foregoing informed consent to be unacceptable, whereas a minority considered enrolment followed by delayed consent to be unacceptable even when a substitute was unavailable. These approaches should, therefore, only be considered when deviating from the usual practice of obtaining consent from a substitute decision-maker is truly justified, such as where treatments being tested need to be delivered as soon as possible in order to be effective.
Canadian respiratory journal: journal of the Canadian Thoracic Society 06/2014; · 1.66 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Critically ill patients lack capacity for decisions about research participation. Consent to enrol these patients in studies is typically obtained from substitute decision-makers. To present strategies that may optimise the process of obtaining informed consent from substitute decision-makers for participation of critically ill patients in trials. We use examples from a randomised trial of heparin thromboprophylaxis in the intensive care unit (PROTECT, clinicaltrials.gov NCT00182143). 3764 patients were randomised, with an informed consent rate of 82%; 90% of consents were obtained from substitute decision-makers. North American PROTECT research coordinators attended three meetings to discuss enrolment: (1) Trial start-up (January 2006); (2) Near trial closure (January 2010); and (3) Post-publication (April 2011). Data were derived from slide presentations, field notes from break-out groups and plenary discussions, then analysed inductively. We derived three phases for the informed consent process: (1) Preparation for the Consent Encounter; (2) The Consent Encounter; and (3) Follow-up to the Consent Encounter. Specific strategies emerged for each phase: Phase 1 (four strategies); Phase 2 (six strategies); and Phase 3 (three strategies). We identified 13 strategies that may improve the process of obtaining informed consent from substitute decision-makers and be generalisable to other settings and studies.Intensive & critical care nursing: the official journal of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses 07/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.iccn.2013.04.006
European Journal of Intensive Care Medicine 06/2013; 39(8). DOI:10.1007/s00134-013-2990-0 · 5.54 Impact Factor