Establishing Informed Consent


  • OVERVIEW: Presentation of the goals of the study, why the study  is  being conducted, who is responsible for the study and its execution.
  • DESCRIPTION OF PROCEDURES: Clarification of the experimental conditions, assessment procedures, requirements of the participation.
  • RISKS AND INCONVENIENCES: Statement of any physical and psychological risks and an estimate of their likelihood. Inconveniences and demands to be placed on the participants (e.g., how many sessions, requests to do anything, contact at home).
  • COSTS/ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS: Charges to the participants (e.g., in treatment) and payment (e.g., for participation or completing various forms. BENEFITS: A statement of what the participants can reasonably hope to gain from participation, including psychological, physical, and monetary benefits.
  • CONFIDENTIALITY:  Assurances that the information is confidential and will only be seen by people who need to do so for the purposes of the research (e.g., scoring and data analyses), procedures to assure confidentiality (e.g., removal of names from forms, storage of data). Also, caveats are included here if it is possible that sensitive information (e.g., psychiatric information, criminal activity) can be subpoenaed.
  • VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION: A statement that the participant is willing to participate and can say no now or later without penalty.
  • RIGHTS AS PARTICIPANTS AND CONTACTS: A statement that the participant is encouraged to ask questions at any time and can contact one or more individuals (listed by name and phone number) who are available for such contacts.
  • ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT: In an intervention study, alternatives available to the client before or during participation are outlined.
  • IF NO ANONYMITY, WITH CONSENT FORM, GET SIGNATURE: A place for the participant as well as the experimenter to sign.

Examples of Consent Forms

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