Giving consent without getting informed: a cross-cultural issue in research ethics.J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics. 2013 Jul;8(3):12-21
Authors: Ghandour L, Yasmine R, El-Kak F
Informed consent forms (ICFs) maintain the integrity of research ethics and preserve participants' rights. Using cross-sectional online survey data on sexuality and sexual practices of private university students from Lebanon, this paper questions whether participants thoroughly read ICFs, and whether time taken to read ICFs is associated with data completeness. A total of 2,534 surveys were completed; a median time of 18.66 seconds was taken to read the 815-word ICF; 65% of participants consented within the first 30 seconds and 90% in less than the minimum predicted time (2.7 minutes). Our data indicates potential participant neglect of ICFs, raising the question of whether participants who endorse an informed consent form are truly informed of the study objectives and their rights.