Do Patients or Clients Understand Electronic Informed Consent for Telehealth?


Telebehavioral Health Institute
By Marlene M. Maheu, Ph.D.
October 19, 2020


Informed consent is required by both state mandate and professional association ethical codes to assure the care and research, and protection of patient rights. Often lengthy and somewhat confusing, consent forms vary substantially across settings. Traditionally paper and now electronic medium are used to provide protection for clients and patients. The problem is that many research studies show that patient and research subjects have difficulty understanding consent forms when obtained in-person. Offering a digitized version of such forms can only lead to yet more complications. This article then offers a few of the most relevant studies to help the reader.

The study Developing a Transparent, Participant Navigated Electronic Informed Consent for Mobile Mediated Research by Megan Doerr, Christine Suver, and John Wilbanks points out that electronic informed consent provides increased flexibility, greater comprehension, and patient engagement, reduced provider workload, and higher satisfaction among patients and providers.

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Want more information regarding telehealth best practices? Visit the LHA Trust Funds Telemedicine toolkit.

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