Online informed consent tool designed to encourage trial participation

In an attempt to address the problem of extremely low enrollment in cancer clinical trials (among adults the national figure is around 3 percent) researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have created an online multimedia informed consent tool that drew high marks from surveyed physicians.

Acknowledging that the informed consent process is an overwhelming and tedious one, and that it is often addressed at a time when cancer patients are at their most vulnerable, Penn researchers created an online tool that includes downloadable PDF forms as well as a video that will feature a trial investigator discussing the clinical trial at length, in language easier to understand than medical jargon. This will allow the patient to watch and re-watch the video, as well as send the link to others and have them watch the video and get their feedback as well.

In short, the online tool gives the patient the time they need to give the proper consideration to taking part in a clinical trial, giving them all the available information and making as certain as possible that the consent a patient is about to give is truly an informed one.

Said James Metz of Penn Medicine, "We believe our tool can make that process easier for patients and their families, as well as for clinicians, who often struggle to accrue enough patients to complete trials."

The researchers presented the tool, found at the University's cancer care site, OncoLink, at this year's ASTRO meeting.

Source: Medical News Today

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