BACKGROUND: The Cord Pilot Trial compared alternative policies for timing of cord clamping at very preterm birth at eight UK hospitals. In addition to standard written consent, an oral assent pathway was developed for use when birth was imminent. The aim of this study was to explore women's views and experiences of two alternative consent pathways to participate in the Cord Pilot Trial. METHODS: We conducted a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews. A total of 179 participants in the Cord Pilot Trial were sent a postal invitation to take part in interviews. Women who agreed were interviewed in person or by telephone to explore their experiences of two consent pathways for a preterm intrapartum trial. Data were analysed using inductive systematic thematic analysis. RESULTS: Twenty-three women who gave either written consent (n = 18) or oral assent followed by written consent (n = 5) to participate in the trial were interviewed. Five themes were identified: (1) understanding of the implications of randomisation, (2) importance of staff offering participation, (3) information about the trial and time to consider participation, (4) trial secondary in women's minds and (5) reasons for agreeing to take part in the trial. Experiences were similar for the two consent pathways. Women recruited by the oral assent pathway reported being given less information about the trial but felt it was sufficient to make a decision regarding participation. There were gaps in women's understanding of the trial and intervention, regardless of the consent pathway. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, women were positive about their experiences of being invited to participate in the trial. The oral assent pathway seems an acceptable option for women if the intervention is low-risk and time is limited.
Bibliographical note© The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
- Clinical trials
- Oral assent
- Preterm birth
Sawyer, A., Chhoa, C. Y., Ayers, S., Pushpa-Rajah, A., & Duley, L. (2017). Women's views and experiences of two alternative consent pathways for participation in a preterm intrapartum trial: a qualitative study. BMC Trials, 18. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-017-2149-3