Professor and class,
Cancer research is so abundant and vast that it is important for the potential research participant to understand all the risk and benefits to give proper informed consent. When thinking of potential benefits and harm related to cancer research 1) understanding the process, 2) understanding all or the risk and benefits of the study and 3) being able to articulate all this information to the study participants is important. Outside of signs and symptoms other risk benefits includes beliefs, age education, capacity, and treatment options. If these risk and benefits are not assessed prior to the patient giving consent it negates essential information for informed consent (Kim, Bruinooge, Roberts, Ison, Lin, Gore, & Schilsky, 2017).
The VA conducts a lot of research, in our infusion units we are often asked to treat patients who have opted into certain pharmaceutical cancer research therapies. I also ensure that the nursing and pharmacy staff is briefed before signing on to administer any medications. The researcher will normally go over portions of the protocol with staff. There has been competing views, normally ethical. But more often those issues and uncertainty subside after knowing the patients have received proper informed consent and all questions have been answered. I have learned that educating the nursing staff giving the therapies to empower them to also be able to answer any questions has helped. Obtaining the validity of the research study is key while ensuring research-based interventions are implemented.
When implementing research-based interventions there may be objections and concerns. Palliative research interventions from what I have seen have been the most difficult to obtain buy in. Patients, families, nursing staff, and other medical staff need to understand the side effects of research chemotherapies to not increase the pain and suffering in someone who is transitioning into death (Enzinger, Wind, Frank, McCleary, Porter, Cushing, & Schrag). Explaining decisions made to stakeholders will include prioritizing the research and how implementation of the interventions, identifying conflicts & barriers, addressing needs & concerns of stakeholders, and making recommendations towards adjustments of the intervention as needed. Engaging stakeholders and ensuring there are open lines of communication will ensure success and compliance in objections to research interventions.
Enzinger, A. C., Wind, J. K., Frank, E., McCleary, N. J., Porter, L., Cushing, H., … & Schrag, D. (2017). A stakeholder-driven approach to improve the informed consent process for palliative chemotherapy. Patient education and counseling, 100(8), 1527-1536.
Kim, E. S., Bruinooge, S. S., Roberts, S., Ison, G., Lin, N. U., Gore, L., … & Schilsky, R. L. (2017). Broadening eligibility criteria to make clinical trials more representative: American Society of Clinical Oncology and Friends of Cancer Research joint research statement. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 35(33), 3737.
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