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J Community Genet. 2016 Apr;7(2):153-8. doi: 10.1007/s12687-016-0261-9. Epub 2016 Feb 11.

Consenting postpartum women for use of routinely collected biospecimens and/or future biospecimen collection.

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Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Box 70259, Johnson City, TN, 37614, USA.
Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.
Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.
Department of Health and Human Services, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, National Institutes of Health, U.S., Bethesda, MD, USA.
Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences, University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, TX, USA.
Department of Nutritional Sciences, School of Human Ecology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA.


The National Children's Study (NCS) Harris County, Texas Study Center participated in the NCS Provider Based Sampling (PBS) substudy of the NCS Vanguard Phase pilot. As part of the hospital-based birth cohort component of the PBS substudy, we conducted a secondary data analysis to evaluate the proportion of postpartum women who consented to future biospecimen collection alone and to both future collection and use of residual birth biospecimens. In phase 1, 32 postpartum women at one hospital were asked to consent only to maternal future biospecimen collection. In phase 2, 40 other postpartum women from the same hospital were asked for an additional consent to use residual clinical biospecimens from the birth event that otherwise would be discarded, including cord blood and maternal blood and urine. Among 103 eligible women, a total of 72 participated. They were 28.3 ± 5.9 years old on average; 58 % were Hispanic; 63 % consented in English, and 37 % in Spanish; 39 % had some college education; 42 % were married; 60 % had an annual family income <$30,000; and 51 % were employed. In phase 1, 59 % consented to future biospecimen collection, and in phase 2, 95 % consented to both future collection and use of at least one residual birth biospecimen, with a difference between phases of 36 % [95 % CI 17-54 %]. Demographic characteristics did not differ among those who did and did not consent. Postpartum women were significantly more likely to grant consent for use of future and residual hospital-obtained biospecimens than future biospecimen collection alone.


Biospecimen; Consent; Postpartum; Residual

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