IRB: Ethics & Human Research

How Should We Communicate the Likelihood of Risks to Inform Decisions about Consent?

Providing understandable information about risks of participation in research is required for informed consent. However, there are no evidence-based guidelines for investigators and members of institutional review boards on how best to do this. A review of literature suggests that, contrary to common practice, simple frequencies with a common denominator rather than probabilistic words should be used to describe the likelihood of risks whenever possible.

Key words/concepts: risk, communication of risk, informed consent

Thomas S. Rector, “How Should We Communicate the Likelihood of Risks to Inform Decision about Consent?” IRB: Ethics & Human Research 30, no. 4 (2008): 15-18.

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