Informed Consent in IBD Trials: Where We Are and Where We Need to Go

Kurin M1, Katz J2, Kodish E3, Lashner B4. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2019 Apr 16. pii: izz067. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izz067. [Epub ahead of print]


Author information

Division of Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio.

Division of Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio.

Pediatrics Institute and Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.

Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Digestive Diseases and Surgery Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.


Patient enrollment is increasingly recognized as a major limiting factor to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) clinical trial completion. Many IBD trials will fail to enroll enough patients to adequately power their study. This has led to a renewed multifaceted effort to encourage more patients to enroll in clinical trials. Although this is of clear importance, it is also important to ensure that all efforts to enroll patients in clinical trials do not compromise the quality and validity of the patient's/study participant's informed consent. Informed consent has 4 components: disclosure, voluntariness, understanding, and capacity. The application of informed consent to IBD clinical trials for biologic agents has not been previously studied. Yet the nature of clinical trials for biologics in IBD creates certain challenges to properly fulfilling the requirements of informed consent in the recruitment process that should be examined. In the following commentary, the components of informed consent are reviewed, challenges to their fulfillment in IBD trials are reviewed, and practical advice is offered.

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