Informed Consent for Phase I Studies: Evaluation of Quantity and Quality of Information Provided to Patients
de Jong, J.
Annals of Oncology. 1995 Apr; 6(4): 363-369.
BACKGROUND: The process by which patients are informed and their consent is obtained in phase I trials has thus far been only marginally studied. Since 1986 we have followed an oral procedure, consisting of three consecutive conversations in which the investigator responsible for phase I studies, the research nurse and the patients' relatives and/or friends also participate, followed by the patients signing of a written consent form. It is required that six items of information considered essential by our staff be conveyed to patients by the responsible investigator. Meerwein's model, which defines three main dimensions of the informing process (the information itself, the emotional and interactive aspects), has been studied to ascertain whether it can be applied to evaluate the quality of the information proffered. METHODS: Thirty-two conversations were taped, transcribed and evaluated by one psychiatrist and one psychologist. A quantitative analysis of information was performed by calculating the number of patients to whom the essential items of information had been conveyed. The qualitative analysis was performed by rating on a five-point scoring system, from 1 (very bad) to 5 (excellent), the three dimensions of the informing process for each patient and by calculating for each dimension the mean score of the constituent items. RESULTS: Complete information about the characteristics of the phase I drug and the modalities of the treatment and follow up was given to almost 80% of the patients. All but one of the items of the information dimension scored 3.5 or higher, with the one related to the assessment by the doctor of the patient's understanding at the end of the consultation scoring less than 3 in 53% of the patients. All items of the emotional dimension scored higher than 3.5. Greater difficulty was encountered by the physician with the interactive dimension, the lowest mean scores being reported on the items related to the doctor's awareness of the indirectly expressed anxieties of the patients. In 71% of the consultations the three dimensions of information scored more than 3 and balanced one another, indicating a successful consultation by the Meerwein model. CONCLUSIONS: The informed consent procedure applied was satisfactory from a quantitative point of view, and the main items of information were acceptable to the patients. Meerweins's model proved to be applicable and useful for identifying pitfalls in communication. Greater attention should be paid to the indirect messages and implied criticisms of the patients to improve their participation in decision making. Physicians should become more skillful in providing adequate information and improve their methods of communication.
Cancer; Communication; Comprehension; Consent; Consultation; Decision Making; Disclosure; Drugs; Emotions; Evaluation; Evaluation Studies; Friends; Human Experimentation; Informed Consent; Methods; Nontherapeutic Research; Patients; Physician Patient Relationship; Physicians; Research; Research Subjects; Relatives; Toxicity;
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Informed Consent for Phase I Studies: Evaluation of Quantity and Quality of Information Provided to Patients Tomamichel, M.; Sessa, C.; Herzig, S.; de Jong, J.; Pagani, O.; Willems, Y.; Cavalli, F. (1995-04)
Osuna, E.; Lorenzo, M.D.; Perez-Carceles, M.D.; Luna, A. (2001)The doctor-patient relationship has undergone important changes in recent years. In the new concept of health care, the individual has the right to take decisions and the right to self-determination is only meaningful if ...