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Oral Informed Consent

The federal guidelines on informed consent do allow for an oral presentation of informed consent information to participants.  The procedures for oral consent, however, are fairly complicated.  The guidelines state that if you use oral consent (that is, read the consent document aloud rather than have participants read a printed document) you must:

  • submit a written summary of what will be read to participants, and have the IRB approve the summary.

  • have a witness present when the information is presented to participants.

  • have a short written summary that describes the information presented to participants, and have the participants, witness, and researcher sign this short document.

  • provide copies of the information to participants.