Development of children's assent documents using a child-centred approach

School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Tasmania, Tasmania, Australia.
Journal of Child Health Care (Impact Factor: 0.88). 04/2007; 11(1):19-28. DOI: 10.1177/1367493507073058
Source: PubMed


The call for researchers to obtain children's informed assent, prior to their participation in medical procedures and research, has increased over recent years and parallels moves to implement child-centred approaches to health care. This article describes the processes used to include children in developing a research information sheet and assent form for use in future research into children's understandings of their surgery and hospital experiences. The process involved primary school children aged between six and 12 years. Children worked in small groups to consider information to include in these documents. Their words were collated to construct the research information sheet and assent form. Working with children resulted in documents that were more understandable for their intended audience. The article includes discussion of 'language', 'understandability' and 'readability'; concepts that researchers seeking to work with children need to come to terms with if they are to obtain 'informed assent'.

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    • "A group of children aged 6–12 years were presented with a plain language assent form and asked how they would choose to present these ideas. Since the title 'assent form' was confusing, the children decided to call it 'the letter that gives you permission' (Ford et al., 2007, p. 10). This resulted in a written form that contained ideas that were understood by the children when read out loud. "
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    ABSTRACT: There has been a shift in perspective from viewing children as adults-in-the-making to individual agents, possessing the right and the competence to meaningfully participate in research. Many researchers are striving to obtain informed assent from young children prior to their participation in research. Methodological concerns have been presented which differ from traditional consent for adults, many related to language and process issues. In light of these, an assent protocol utilising a picture book that included photographs of young children engaged in research activities was developed to help capture children's interest and aid in their understanding of the research project. Children in two separate studies were presented with the book and demonstrated their understanding through engaging in meaningful discussion about the research process, assenting, and dissenting to participate. Important process considerations are discussed, along with the appropriateness of using a picture book to gather informed assent from young children.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Early Child Development and Care
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    • "Written consent was obtained from parents and written assent from child participants. Child assent documents were developed in collaboration with children and were in a language and form suitable for children in the study age group (Ford et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: It is a mark of respect for children that their views around their healthcare are listened to and considered. To date, too little attention has been paid to children's views and experiences of admission to hospital for surgery. This paper presents findings from a constructivist grounded theory study of children's experiences of admission to hospital for surgery (from their perspectives). Age appropriate data collection techniques were used and included interviews with children and their drawings and stories. Ten children, aged 6-12 years, who were admitted to hospital for surgery participated in the research. The children were able to clearly articulate aspects of their experience, including their fears and anxieties, the things they enjoyed and the things that assisted them to cope with their experience. The substantive theory developed was 'children's reframing of their sense of selves to incorporate the experiences of hospitalization and surgery'. Children require information and support to alleviate their anxieties around the time of their surgery. With pressures on children's services, increased day surgery rates and shorter admissions, nurses who care for children around this time are challenged to find ways of knowing each child's story and the fears that they have.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2011 · Journal of Child Health Care
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    ABSTRACT: Increasingly, instructional technology research and design grounded in field-based data collection takes place in classrooms, after school programs, and informal learning settings. One byproduct of a commitment to naturalistic, unfolding inquiry in authentic settings is a significant degree of uncertainty, a situation oftentimes provoking ethical and practical implications when dealing with human subjects. As such, the authors attempt to answer the question: How does one "do good instructional technology research and design," balancing ethical concerns with sound qualitative methods? To address this question, the authors examine three focal ethical issues that influence methods--"respect for persons", "beneficence" and "justice"--of encountered in the field, providing examples and illustrations based on prior work. In an effort to advance scholarship and practice, the authors offer advice to those responsible for training future faculty and professionals, offering ways to make certain human subjects are treated ethically and high quality research and design standards are maintained.
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