Digital tools in the informed consent process: a systematic review

BMC Medical Ethics
(Accessed 27 Feb 2021)


Research article
Digital tools in the informed consent process: a systematic review
Providing understandable information to patients is necessary to achieve the aims of the Informed Consent process: respecting and promoting patients’ autonomy and protecting patients from harm. In recent decades, new, primarily digital technologies have been used to apply and test innovative formats of Informed Consent. We conducted a systematic review to explore the impact of using digital tools for Informed Consent in both clinical research and in clinical practice. Understanding, satisfaction and participation were compared for digital tools versus the non-digital Informed Consent process…
Digital technologies for informed consent were not found to negatively affect any of the outcomes, and overall, multimedia tools seem desirable. Multimedia tools indicated a higher impact than videos only. Presence of a researcher may potentially enhance efficacy of different outcomes in research IC processes. Studies were heterogeneous in design, making evaluation of impact challenging. Robust study design including standardization is needed to conclusively assess impact.
Authors: Francesco Gesualdo, Margherita Daverio, Laura Palazzani, Dimitris Dimitriou, Javier Diez-Domingo, Jaime Fons-Martinez, Sally Jackson, Pascal Vignally, Caterina Rizzo and Alberto Eugenio Tozzi
27 February 2021