Rapid Ethical Appraisal: A tool to design a contextualized consent process for a genetic study of podoconiosis in Ethiopia

Gebresilase, Tewodros Tariku, Deresse, Zebene, Tsegay, Girmay, Tessema, Tesfaye Sisay, Aseffa, Abraham, Davey, Gail, Newport, Melanie, Tekola-Ayele, Fasil and Addissie, Adamu (2017) Rapid Ethical Appraisal: A tool to design a contextualized consent process for a genetic study of podoconiosis in Ethiopia. Wellcome Open Research. ISSN 2398-502X

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Background: Obtaining genuine informed consent from research participants in developing countries can be difficult, partly due to poor knowledge about research process and research ethics. The situation is complicated when conducting genomic research on a disease considered familial and a reason for stigmatisation.

Methods: We used a Rapid Ethical Appraisal tool to assess local factors that were barriers to getting genuine informed consent prior to conducting a genetic study of podoconiosis (non-filarial elephantiasis) in two Zones of Ethiopia. The tool included in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with patients, healthy community members, field workers, researchers/Institutional Review Board (IRB) members, elders, religious leaders, and podoconiosis administrators who work closely with patients.

Results: Most patients and healthy community members did not differentiate research from routine clinical diagnosis. Participants felt comfortable when approached in the presence of trusted community members. Field workers and podoconiosis administrators preferred verbal consent, whereas the majority of patients and healthy community members prefer both verbal and written consent.

Participants better understood genetic susceptibility concepts when analogies drawn from their day-to-day experience were used. The type of biological sample sought and gender were the two most important factors affecting the recruitment process. Most researchers and IRB members indicated that reporting incidental findings to participants is not a priority in an Ethiopian context.
Conclusions: Understanding the concerns of local people in areas where research is to be conducted facilitates the design of contextualized consent processes appropriate for all parties and will ultimately result in getting genuine consent.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Global Health and Infection
Research Centres and Groups: Wellcome Trust Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health Research
Depositing User: Esther Garibay
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2018 11:55
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2018 11:02
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/72952

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