Predicting Participant Consent in mHealth Trials – A Caregiver’s Perspective

Yvonne O'Connor, Ciara Heavin, Joe Gallagher, John O'Donoghue

Abstract


Informed consent is sought prior to conducting a healthcare intervention on a person. When a healthcare intervention involves a young child, their caregiver is required to provide informed consent on their behalf. However, little is known on the behavioural intentions of participants to provide consent when a mobile health (mHealth) intervention is involved in a clinical trial scenario. Understanding this phenomenon is important, without consent appropriate data may not be collected to empirically examine the implications of mHealth initiatives when delivering healthcare services to children in a ‘real world context’. The objective of this paper is to explore the behavioural intentions of caregivers to provide consent for children (under five years of age) to participate in mHealth Randomised Control Trials (RCT) in developing countries and subsequently develop a predictive model for consent giving. Data was captured vis-à-vis interviews with Malawian caregivers in Africa. The findings reveal that emotional response stimuli play a major role during the participant informed consent process resulting in the involvement (or not) of a child within an RCT. The study contributes to, and opens up, avenues for critical research on the role of informed consent as part of RCT-related projects, especially concerning the involvement of children. This new knowledge may be leveraged to address participant uncertainties and subsequently improve the rate of paediatric recruitment in mHealth trial scenarios.

Keywords


Emotional Response Stimuli; Rational Decision Making; mHealth; Consent; Developing Countries

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v21i0.1470

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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