Communicating Risks and Benefits in Informed Consent for Research: A Qualitative Study

Lika Nusbaum, Brenda Douglas, Karla Damus, Michael Paasche-Orlow, Neenah Estrella-Luna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Multiple studies have documented major limitations in the informed consent process for the recruitment of clinical research participants. One challenging aspect of this process is successful communication of risks and benefits to potential research participants. This study explored the opinions and attitudes of informed consent experts about conveying risks and benefits to inform the development of a survey about the perspectives of research nurses who are responsible for obtaining informed consent for clinical trials. The major themes identified were strategies for risks and benefits communication, ensuring comprehension, and preparation for the role of the consent administrator. From the experts’ perspective, inadequate education and training of the research staff responsible for informed consent process contribute to deficiencies in the informed consent process and risks and benefits communication. Inconsistencies in experts’ opinions and critique of certain widely used communication practices require further consideration and additional research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Qualitative Nursing Research
StatePublished - 16 Sep 2017


  • clinical
  • informed consent
  • interviews
  • research
  • risks and benefits
  • semistructured

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing (all)


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