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BMC Med Res Methodol. 2016 Nov 24;16(1):162.

Conducting a large, multi-site survey about patients' views on broad consent: challenges and solutions.

Author information

1
Center for Genetic Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 645 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611, USA. m-smith6@northwestern.edu.
2
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
3
University College London, London, UK.
4
University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY, USA.
5
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
6
Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA.
7
Center for Genetic Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 645 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611, USA.
8
Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA.
9
Seattle Children's Research Institute, Seattle, WA, USA.
10
Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, WI, USA.
11
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
12
University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
13
National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
14
Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, WA, USA.
15
Essentia Institute of Rural Health, Duluth, MN, USA.
16
Geisinger Health System, Danville, PA, USA.
17
Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

As biobanks play an increasing role in the genomic research that will lead to precision medicine, input from diverse and large populations of patients in a variety of health care settings will be important in order to successfully carry out such studies. One important topic is participants' views towards consent and data sharing, especially since the 2011 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), and subsequently the 2015 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) were issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). These notices required that participants consent to research uses of their de-identified tissue samples and most clinical data, and allowing such consent be obtained in a one-time, open-ended or "broad" fashion. Conducting a survey across multiple sites provides clear advantages to either a single site survey or using a large online database, and is a potentially powerful way of understanding the views of diverse populations on this topic.

METHODS:

A workgroup of the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network, a national consortium of 9 sites (13 separate institutions, 11 clinical centers) supported by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) that combines DNA biorepositories with electronic medical record (EMR) systems for large-scale genetic research, conducted a survey to understand patients' views on consent, sample and data sharing for future research, biobank governance, data protection, and return of research results.

RESULTS:

Working across 9 sites to design and conduct a national survey presented challenges in organization, meeting human subjects guidelines at each institution, and survey development and implementation. The challenges were met through a committee structure to address each aspect of the project with representatives from all sites. Each committee's output was integrated into the overall survey plan. A number of site-specific issues were successfully managed allowing the survey to be developed and implemented uniformly across 11 clinical centers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Conducting a survey across a number of institutions with different cultures and practices is a methodological and logistical challenge. With a clear infrastructure, collaborative attitudes, excellent lines of communication, and the right expertise, this can be accomplished successfully.

KEYWORDS:

Cognitive interviews; Consent; Genomics; Institutional Review Board; Multi-site; Pilot; Survey

PMID:
27881091
PMCID:
PMC5122167
DOI:
10.1186/s12874-016-0263-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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