Ethical issues in cancer register follow-up of hormone treatment in adolescence

Public Health Ethics 2 (1) (2009)
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden Mats G. Hansson Uppsala University, Sweden Jan Carlstedt-Duke Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden Martin Ritzen Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden Ingemar Persson Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden Helle Kieler Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden * Corresponding author: Christina M. Hultman, Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Box 281, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden. Tel.: +46 8 52483893; +46 70 3621031; Fax: +46 8 314975; Email: Christina.Hultman{at} ' + u + '@' + d + ' '//--> Abstract Since the 1970s, estrogen have sometimes been used in adolescent girls to reduce very tall adult expected height. Worries about long-term effects have led to a proposal to link treatment data with cancer registers. How should one deal with informed consent for such a study? We designed a qualitative study with semi-structured telephone interviews. From 1200 women who were to be followed-up in cancer registers, we randomly selected 22 women. Major themes were a wish to be involved and a positive attitude to the proposed register research. The women did not express worry after reading the study protocol, but did convey considerable frustration that this research had not been initiated earlier. Active consent was not seen as crucial. We found strong interest in a high participation rate and a concern over missing data. The selection of information and consent or the decision to go ahead without consent in register follow-up is a delicate balancing act. Study participants wish to be contacted, but acknowledge the primary goal of answering important questions. Our study provides support for safeguarding privacy in epidemiological linkage studies and in follow-up of medical treatment without losing the scientific value by requesting for informed consent. CiteULike Connotea What's this?
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