Factors That Influence Parents' Decisions to Consent to Their Child's Participation in Clinical Anesthesia Research
There is concern that the environment in which consent for anesthesia research is sought may be coercive. We therefore designed this study to determine the factors that parents consider in consenting to their child's participation in clinical anesthesia research. The study sample consisted of 246 parents who had been approached for permission to allow their child to participate in a clinical anesthesia study. Parents were asked to complete a questionnaire detailing the reasons for their decision to consent or decline their child's participation. There were no differences in the demographics of the consenters (n = 168) and nonconsenters (n = 78). Perceived risk and the importance of the study were the primary factors in the parents' decisions to consent or decline. Only 2.8% of nonconsenters strongly considered a lack of privacy as a deciding factor; 15.3% stated that they had insufficient time in which to make a decision, and 0% reported having felt pressured. Furthermore, only 3.1% of consenters strongly considered an obligation to consent. Results of this survey highlight factors that influence parents' decisions to consent to their child's participation in clinical anesthesia research. We hope that this information will be important to researchers in providing an appropriate environment for obtaining consent for clinical anesthesia research studies. Implications: Parents who are approached for permission for their child to participate in a research study must be fully informed and under no pressure to consent. This study describes factors that influence parents' decisions to consent to their child's participation in clinical anesthesia research.