Neuropsychological functioning and recall of research consent information among drug court clients

Ethics and Behavior 17 (2):163 – 186 (2007)
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Abstract

Evidence suggests that research participants often fail to recall much of the information provided during the informed consent process. This study was conducted to determine the proportion of consent information recalled by drug court participants following a structured informed consent procedure and the neuropsychological factors that were related to recall. Eighty-five participants completed a standard informed consent procedure to participate in an ongoing research study, followed by a 17-item consent quiz and a brief neuropsychological battery 2 weeks later. Participants performed within the normal range on most of the neuropsychological measures, although roughly one third showed deficits on measures of executive functioning. Participants failed to recall over 65% of the consent information within 2 weeks of entering the study, and their recall was significantly correlated with verbal IQ, drug problem severity, reading ability, memory, and attention. These factors may be useful in determining whether research participants require enhanced consent procedures.

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