• IRB: ETHICS & HUMAN RESEARCH

Effectiveness of Multimedia Aids to Enhance Comprehension of Research Consent Information: A Systematic Review

We conducted a systematic review of empirical studies that examined the effectiveness of multimedia tools to enhance the research consent process. Consent procedures that used multimedia aids resulted in significantly better participant comprehension in 10 of 20 reviewed studies than was achieved with consent procedures that did not use these aids. In six of the remaining studies, multimedia-aided consent procedures resulted in superior comprehension or retention for some subgroups or for at least some key aspects of the disclosed material. The overall pattern of findings suggests that multimedia tools can be effective aids to the research consent process under some circumstances. However, further research is needed with multimedia tools that are more firmly grounded in conceptual models of human information processing during the consent process. Such conceptual, model-driven research is critical to determine which multimedia tools are useful in which specific contexts and for which specific participants.

Barton W. Palmer, Nicole M. Lanouette, and Dilip V. Jeste, “Effectiveness of Multimedia Aids to Enhance Comprehension of Research Consent Information: A Systematic Review,” IRB: Ethics & Human Research 34, no. 6 (2012): 1-15.