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Improving the informed consent process among HIV‐infected undisclosed minors participating in a biomedical research: insights from the multicentre nutritional SNACS study in Senegal

Abstract : Objectives: Providing research information in a manner accessible to minors participating in biomedical research is a major challenge. Guidance is dramatically lacking regarding best practices for seeking informed consent among undisclosed minors enrolled in HIV‐related research. We implemented an improved informed consent process (IICP) and identified factors associated with understanding of the information presented to HIV‐infected minors prior to their enrolment in a study. Methods: We enrolled study participants attending 12 paediatric HIV clinics in Senegal. Children ≥7 years were provided with standardised research information using the IICP, which involves viewing a video and taking part in extended group discussions. Understanding was assessed by seven basic questions scored 1 or 2 points, with a maximum score of 11 points. A score of 9 or more points was defined as satisfactory understanding. Factors associated with understanding were identified using a stepwise logistic regression model. Results: Overall, 112 children, with a median age of 12.9 years (IQR: 10.2–15.0), participated in the IICP, of whom 37% were HIV disclosed. 71% achieved a satisfactory understanding score and all gave consent to participate in the research. HIV‐disclosed children were more likely to demonstrate satisfactory understanding than undisclosed children (aOR = 3.2, 95% CI: 1.1–9.6). Age, study setting and education level were not associated with satisfactory understanding. Conclusion: These findings provide practical guidance for the development of improved and friendly informed consent processes in research involving minors. The implementation of the paediatric HIV research agenda will require a standardised and operational definition of informed consent, integrating the issue of HIV disclosure.
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Contributor : Fabienne Hejoaka <>
Submitted on : Monday, June 22, 2020 - 3:37:44 PM
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Fabienne Hejoaka, Marie Varloteaux, Caroline Desclaux‐sall, Sidy Mokhtar Ndiaye, Karim Diop, et al.. Improving the informed consent process among HIV‐infected undisclosed minors participating in a biomedical research: insights from the multicentre nutritional SNACS study in Senegal. Tropical Medicine & International Health, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2019, 24 (3), pp.294-303. ⟨10.1111/tmi.13202⟩. ⟨halshs-02869355⟩

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