> eConsent

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a rapid shift towards remote electronic informed consent (eConsent). We encourage researchers to use evidence-informed practices when designing their eConsent processes.

What is eConsent?

eConsent involves using electronic devices (e.g., computer, tablet, phone) to obtain consent from a potential participant or legally authorized representative.

The benefits of eConsent include:
  • Enabling consent when face-to-face consent is not possible
  • More convenient for researchers and participants
  • Increased enrollment potential, including recruitment and enrollment of under-represented populations

Different Types of eConsent

Generally, there are two types of eConsent:

1) Researcher-assisted eConsent
  • Involves a live discussion between the potential research participant and a member of the study team
  • Discussion may occur remotely (not face-to-face)
  • Example: research team members use video conferencing to share their screen and walk participants through an electronic consent form
2) Self-administered eConsent without research personnel
  • Conducted entirely by the participant without study personnel present
  • Can be completed by participants on their own time
  • Example: participants use a mobile phone consent app

Evidence-Informed Practices for eConsent

Whichever type of eConsent you use, there are several evidence-informed practices that can help ensure your participants understand the study information. These practices include:
    • Using plain language
    • Using appropriate formatting and web design
    • Assessing for understanding
Click here to learn more about the different types of eConsent and how to apply these practices:

If you are interested in using eConsent with legally authorized representatives (LARs), click here.

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