Electronic Informed Consent to Facilitate Recruitment of Pregnant Women Into Research

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Abstract

Methods to obtain informed consent digitally or electronically may increase the participation of racially and geographically diverse pregnant women in prospective research, which is essential to improve the evidence base for maternity care. We evaluated the feasibility and utility of e-consent in the first year of a multiyear clinical trial involving pregnant women. Of the 86 women screened, 71 were eligible, 65 (93% of eligible) agreed to review the e-consent form, and 61 (86% of eligible) completed the e-consent process. Of the interested women who were sent the e-consent link, all were able to complete the e-consent process, even those who reported low health literacy. Women of all racial and ethnic groups were equally likely to consent, and the sample of women who consented was consistent with practice demographics. E-consent is feasible and easy to use with pregnant women and may expedite enrollment of a representative sample.

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