K.E. Ormond, A.L. Cirino, and W.A. Wolf contributed equally to this work.
Article first published online: 22 JAN 2009
Copyright © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A
Volume 149A, Issue 2, pages 188–198, February 2009
How to Cite
Ormond, K.E., Cirino, A.L., Helenowski, I.B., Chisholm, R.L. and Wolf, W.A. (2009), Assessing the understanding of biobank participants. Am. J. Med. Genet., 149A: 188–198. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.32635
How to cite this article: Ormond KE, Cirino AL, Helenowski IB, Chisholm RL, Wolf WA. 2009. Assessing the understanding of biobank participants. Am J Med Genet Part A 149A:188–198.
- Issue published online: 22 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 22 JAN 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 AUG 2008
- Manuscript Received: 18 JUN 2004
- DOE. Grant Number: #DE-FG02-02ER63437
- DNA bank;
- genetic database;
- genetic research;
- research results;
- informed consent;
- therapeutic misconception
Biobanks have been developed as a tool to better understand the genetic basis of disease by linking DNA samples to corresponding medical information. The broad scope of such projects presents a challenge to informed consent and participant understanding. To address this, 200 telephone interviews were conducted with participants in the NUgene Project, Northwestern University's biobank. Interviews included a modified version of the “quality of informed consent measure” (QuIC) and semi-structured questions which were analyzed thematically for 109 of the interviews. The QuIC, originally applied to cancer clinical trials, objectively assessed some of the components of informed consent for a biobank, and interview questions provided rich data to assist in interpreting participant understanding. The best understood domains included: the nature of the study, benefit to future patients, and the voluntary nature of participation. Lower knowledge scores included: potential risks and discomforts, experimental nature of the research, procedures in the event of study-related injury, and confidentiality issues. Qualitatively, confidentiality protections of the study were described as good by most (>50%). Although some cited concerns with employer (12%) or insurance discrimination (25%), most considered the risks to privacy low (25%) or none (∼60%). Only 10% of participants explicitly stated they had no expectation for personal benefit, and when asked whether they expected to be contacted with study results, respondents were split between having no expectation (39%), being hopeful for results (37%) and expecting to be contacted with results (12%). These findings are informative to those establishing and implementing biobanks, and to the IRBs reviewing such studies. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.