EQUIC-SM: Enhancing Quality of Informed Consent

2014-08-27 03:56:17 | BioPortfolio


Patients in 'parent' cooperative studies projects are interviewed about their experiences in the informed consent process.


Intervention: Self-Monitoring Questionnaire (a questionnaire relating to the process of IC self-administered by study coordinators) and evaluation of the informed consent process using the Brief Informed Consent Evaluation Protocol (BICEP) developed during the EQUIC-DP phase.

Primary Hypothesis: We hypothesize that by focusing attention on what may have become a routinized process, the quality of the IC encounter will be enhanced. We will evaluate the success of this intervention by having the patient-subject complete a telephone questionnaire, the BICEP (Brief Informed Consent Evaluation Protocol), after the IC process is completed.

Primary Outcomes: The quality of the informed consent process, as measured by the BICEP (Brief Informed Consent Evaluation Protocol). The BICEP also offers a method to certify informed consent in routine use.

Study Abstract: Enhancing the Quality of Informed Consent Self-Monitoring (EQUIC-SM) is one component of a VA Cooperative Studies Program-wide initiative on informed consent (EQUIC). Its objective is the field testing and iterative improvement of one intervention in the informed consent (IC) process, self monitoring. Self-monitoring involves having the person obtaining IC complete a Self-Monitoring Questionnaire, or SMQ after the IC encounter with a patient-subject being recruited for a participating study. We conceive of the SMQ as an activation device which prompts the person obtaining IC to monitor how he/she conducts the IC encounter. RESEARCH DESIGN: EQUIC-SM will be conducted in conjunction with participating clinical trials of the VA CSP at multiple VAs throughout the country. Patient-subjects will be recruited from among participants in these parent studies. Parent studies will be randomized to SM protocol or to control sites.

METHODOLOGY: Patient-subjects will be informed about EQUIC-SM at the time that they are first presented with information about the parent study. The person obtaining consent will use a scripted description of EQUIC-SM. If the subject agrees, verbal consent for EQUIC-SM will be obtained. The same parent study informed consent process will be used for both the SM protocol and control arms of EQUIC-SM; however in the SM protocol arm, the person obtaining consent will complete the SMQ after the IC process. In both arms, patient-subjects will be asked to complete the BICEP interview after the parent study IC process is completed. FINDINGS: Investigators will use the results of EQUIC-SM to assess the value of the self-monitoring technique in improving the quality of informed consent. The premise is that focusing the attention of the person obtaining informed consent on the IC process will enhance the quality of the IC encounter, and thus of the informed consent obtained.

SIGNIFICANCE: Practitioners of clinical trials have a responsibility to ensure that patients participation in research be informed and voluntary. This responsibility implies that we should strive continuously to improve the effectiveness of methods for informing prospective research volunteers about experimental studies, thereby enhancing the protection of their interests. If the self-monitoring technique tested in EQUIC-SM proves to enhance the quality of informed consent, this technique may be adapted for wider use in conducting clinical trials, thus representing an important step towards this goal.

Study Design

Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional




VA Medical Center, Birmingham
United States




Department of Veterans Affairs

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:56:17-0400

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