Increasing opportunities to participate in health research
28 January 2016
Members of the public and patients repeatedly indicate their willingness to take part in research, but UK research governance involves complex rules about gaining consent. ReachWest, the CLAHRC West project to create a research register for the West of England to simplify connecting the public and patients with research opportunities that are relevant to them, will launch online soon.
Research participation registers that seek consent from participants to be approached about future studies have several potential benefits, including:
increased research participation across clinical and healthy populations
simplified recruitment to health care research
support for people’s autonomy in decision making
improved efficiency and generalizability of research
These potential benefits have to be balanced against ethical and governance considerations. With appropriate processes in place, seeking prospective consent from patients and members of the public to be approached about future studies could potentially increase public participation in health research without compromising informed consent and other ethical principles.