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Title: The impact of the method of consent on response rates in the ISAAC time trends study
Authors: Ellwood, Philippa
Asher, M. Innes
Stewart, Alistair W.
Montefort, Stephen
Authors: ISAAC Phase Three Study Group
Keywords: Parental consent
Research -- Moral and ethical aspects
Asthma in children
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: The Union
Citation: Ellwood, P., Asher, M. I., Stewart, A. W., & ISAAC Phase III Study Group. (2010). The impact of the method of consent on response rates in the ISAAC time trends study. The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 14(8), 1059-1065.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Centres in Phases I and III of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) programme used the method of consent (passive or active) required by local ethics committees. METHODS: Retrospectively, relationships between achieved response rates and method of consent for 13–14 and 6–7-year-olds (adolescents and children, respectively), were examined between phases and between English and non-English language centres. RESULTS: Information was obtained for 113 of 115 centres for adolescents and 72/72 centres for children. Both age groups: most centres using passive consent achieved high response rates (>80% adolescents and >70% children). English language centres using active consent showed a larger decrease in response rate. Adolescents: seven centres changed from passive consent in Phase I to active consent in Phase III (median decrease of 13%), with five centres showing lower response rates (as low as 34%). Children: no centre changed consent method between phases. Centres using active consent had lower median response rates (lowest response rate 45%). CONCLUSION: The requirement for active consent for population school-based questionnaire studies can impact negatively on response rates, particularly English language centres, thus adversely affecting the validity of the data. Ethics committees need to consider this issue carefully.
Description: The authors are grateful to the children and parents who participated in ISAAC Phase III and for the coordination and assistance by the school staff. The authors also acknowledge and thank the many funding bodies throughout the world that supported the individual ISAAC centres and collaborators and their meetings. The current main source of funding for the ISAAC International Data Centre (IIDC) is the BUPA Foundation (grant number: RBF0065). Many New Zealand funding bodies have contributed support for the IIDC during the periods of fi eldwork and data compilation (the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand, the Child Health Research Foundation, the Hawke’s Bay Medical Research Foundation, the Waikato Medical Research Foundation, Glaxo Wellcome New Zealand, the NZ Lottery Board and Astra Zeneca New Zealand). Glaxo Wellcome International Medical Affairs supported the regional coordination for Phase III and the IIDC. Without help from all of the above, ISAAC would not have been such a global success.
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