Misunderstandings about the nature and process of a study often contribute to expressions of non-consent, a factor that should be incorporated in the design of future studies.
Low participation rates are a problem in human subject research because they can lead to delays, sampling bias and increased costs. Most studies to date have focussed on participants' motives for participation, so Brian Williams and colleagues from the University of Dundee, UK, decided to study the reasons why people chose not to take part in research projects.
They studied a group of older people living in Scotland who had opted out of a survey about retirement activities. Around half of the initial 887 people invited to participate declined to do so. Approximately 60% of these then agreed to take part in Williams' follow-up study and give reasons for their original refusal. Most were willing to take part, but had refused to do so because of confusion about the nature and purpose of the research, and perceived difficulties in participating because of other commitments. Only 28% indicated they were "not interested in research."
The results query the meaningfulness of expressions of 'non-consent' - a term that can encompass a variety of hidden personal decisions and motives. Reasons for non-participation are highly specific, not just to the research topic, but also to the potential participants. The information sheets that accompany participation requests should therefore aim to clarify any potential sources of confusion, and behavioural theory could be used to aid study design.
Martyn Thomas | alfa
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.01.2018 | Awards Funding