Empirical research on the consent process indicates that research participants often may not understand enough about research to make a fully informed decision. Concepts such as randomization, controls and double blinding are particularly difficult. Many subjects believe that there will be therapeutic benefit from participating in research (Applebaum, Roth, & Lidz, 1982; Applebaum, Lidz, & Grisso, 2004; Pace et al., 2005).
More information than can be retained often is included in consent forms. Research also shows that subjects prefer short consent forms to very detailed ones, though there is some indication that both satisfaction and comprehension are similar (Stunkel et al., 2010).
Is Consent Informed?