Objective: We implemented a chatbot consent tool to shift the time burden from study staff in support of a national genomics research study.
Materials and methods: We created an Institutional Review Board-approved script for automated chat-based consent. We compared data from prospective participants who used the tool or had traditional consent conversations with study staff.
Results: Chat-based consent, completed on a user's schedule, was shorter than the traditional conversation. This did not lead to a significant change in affirmative consents. Within affirmative consents and declines, more prospective participants completed the chat-based process. A quiz to assess chat-based consent user understanding had a high pass rate with no reported negative experiences.
Conclusion: Our report shows that a structured script can convey important information while realizing the benefits of automation and burden shifting. Analysis suggests that it may be advantageous to use chatbots to scale this rate-limiting step in large research projects.
Keywords: chatbot; genetic counseling; genomics; informed consent; large-scale research.
© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association.