Cultural aspects related to informed consent in health research: A systematic review

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In order to protect the autonomy of human subjects, we need to take their culture into account when we are obtaining informed consent.

Objective and research design:

This study describes the cultural aspects related to informed consent in health research and is based on electronic searches that were conducted using the Scopus, PubMed, CINAHL, and Cochrane databases published between 2000 and 2013. A total of 25 articles were selected.


Our findings indicate that cultural perspectives relating to the informed consent process are essential during the whole research process and particularly crucial in the planning phase of a study. Our study indicates that appropriate communication between different stakeholders plays a vital role in cultural understanding.

Discussion and conclusion:

The researchers' awareness of cultural differences and their ability to work in a culturally sensitive way are key factors in improving study participation and retention in a multicultural context. Taking cultural aspects into account during the whole research process improves the quality of research.

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