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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-24

"I understood…but some parts were confusing and hard to grasp": Patients' perception of informed consent forms and clinical trials in Eldoret, Kenya

1 Department of Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
2 Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Moi University; Moi University Clinical Research Site (MUCRS), Eldoret, Kenya

Correspondence Address:
Violet Naanyu
Department of Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Moi University, P. O. Box 4606-30100, Eldoret
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Source of Support: This study was partially supported through the Moi University Research Grants., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-3485.124563

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Background: A signed informed consent (IC) form proves voluntary participation in a study. Yet the development of accessible and understandable IC forms comes with its own set of challenges, particularly when conducting international research. Purpose: This study explores understanding by participants in an Eldoret-based clinical trial of IC and its implications as well as whether they will volunteer for future trials. Materials and Methods: In mid-2010, in-depth interviews with trial participants were recorded in audio format. Content analysis provides a description of trial participants' experiences and thoughts. Results: All participants were informed about the trial and its voluntariness and they consented. However, some were too ill to scrutinize trial details. Thus, they relied on their health care provider's advice, or on their guardians. In general, participants understood their role and were happy to volunteer or invite others to participate in future trials. They also emphasised the importance of an open on-going dialogue in order for participants to be able to ask questions. Conclusion: Clinical trial participants in Eldoret seem to understand their role, but rely on providers and guardians when consenting. They are very willing to participate in future trials. Evaluation of research participants' opinions may improve trial protocols, increase comprehension and guard against manipulation of study participants. In addition, this research focus should guide development of consent forms and process that facilitates a truly IC.

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