Send to

Choose Destination
Acad Emerg Med. 2013 Jan;20(1):98-103. doi: 10.1111/acem.12039.

Emergency research: using exception from informed consent, evaluation of community consultations.

Author information

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.



In 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved regulations authorizing an exception from informed consent (EFIC) for research conducted in emergency settings when obtaining prospective informed consent is not possible due to the potential subject's critical illness or injury. The regulations require that investigators conduct community consultation (CC) efforts before initiating a study and require that institutional review boards review the results of CC prior to approving a study. However, little is known about how communities view EFIC research or the CC process.


The objective was to assess the views of CC meeting attendees regarding the CC process, their understanding and views of EFIC research relating to the specific research trial under discussion, and their level of trust in physician-investigators.


Following CC meetings at two study sites (San Francisco and Atlanta) for the Rapid Anticonvulsant Medication Prior to Arrival Trial (RAMPART), an active comparison, randomized trial of prehospital treatment for status epilepticus, the authors administered a pair of surveys to participants. One survey focused on CC experiences (CC survey) and trust in physician-investigators; the second assessed participants' understanding of EFIC and the RAMPART clinical trial design (EFIC survey).


A total of 317 individuals participated in one of the two most popular types of CC meetings (group meetings and focus group sessions) at both sites. A total of 189 participants (59%) completed the CC survey and trust questions, and 297 (92%) completed the EFIC survey. Of those who completed the CC survey, 173 of 189 (92%) were very satisfied with the meeting, and 174 of 189 (92%) felt that they learned a lot about research at the meeting. A total of 169 of 189 participants (88%) felt that researchers heard the community's concerns, while only 106 of 189 (56%) said researchers would be willing to make changes to the study based on their concerns. Of those who completed the EFIC survey, 261 of 297 (88%) supported the study, 207 of 297 (70%) said they would agree to participate in the study, and 203 of 297 (68%) reported that they would agree to consent a loved one into the study. On a recently validated scale measuring trust in physician-investigators, participants at both sites seemed to have higher levels of trust in physician-investigators than the validation study population.


Overall, members of these two communities expressed satisfaction with the CC session and had relatively high levels of support for the study and trust in physician-investigators.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center