The role of community advisory boards: involving communities in the informed consent process

Am J Public Health. 2001 Dec;91(12):1938-43. doi: 10.2105/ajph.91.12.1938.


Ethical research involving human subjects mandates that individual informed consent be obtained from research participants or from surrogates when participants are not able to consent for themselves. The existing requirements for informed consent assume that all study participants have personal autonomy; fully comprehend the purpose, risks, and benefits of the research; and volunteer for projects that disclose all relevant information. Yet contemporary examples of lapses in the individual informed consent process have been reported. The authors propose the use of community advisory boards, which can facilitate research by providing advice about the informed consent process and the design and implementation of research protocols. These activities could help reduce the number of individual informed consent lapses, benefiting study participants and the scientific integrity of the research in question.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Advisory Committees*
  • Community Participation
  • Community-Institutional Relations*
  • Human Experimentation*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent*
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Research Design
  • United States