Biobanks are essential resources, and participation by individuals from diverse groups is needed. Various models of consent have been proposed for secondary research use of biospecimens, differing in level of donor control and information received. Data are needed regarding participant preferences for models of consent, particularly among minorities. We conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews with 60 women to examine their attitudes about different models of consent. Recruitment was stratified by race (Black/White) and prior biobank participation (yes/no). Two coders independently coded interview transcripts. Qualitative thematic analysis was conducted using NVivo 10. The majority of Black and White participants preferred “broad” consent (i.e., blanket permission for secondary research use of biospecimens), and the second most preferred model for both groups was “study-specific” consent (i.e., consent for each future research study). The qualitative analysis showed that participants selected their most preferred model for 3 major reasons: having enough information, having control over their sample, and being asked for permission. Least preferred was notice model (i.e., participants notified that biospecimens may be used in future research). Attitudes toward models of consent differed somewhat by race and prior biobank participation. Participants preferred models of consent for secondary research use of biospecimens that provided them with both specific and general information, control over their biospecimens, and asked them to give permission for use. Our findings suggest that it will be important for researchers to provide information about future uses of biospecimens to the extent possible and have an explicit permission step for secondary research use.
- Informed consent
- Participant preferences