postheadericon IASP Guidelines – The International Association

The International Association for the Study of Pain has published guidelines for pain research related to the study of pain in humans and animals. The IASP guidelines emphasize that human dignity, health and safety are paramount in research and the researcher still has the ultimate responsibility to maintain high ethical standards. In addition, the guidelines of the IASP emphasize the need for proper and thorough ethical review of research by a properly constituted ethics committee or the board. Consent must be informed, voluntary, and written. This implies that the elements of mental capacity and adequate information should also be present. However, it is not always possible to determine clearly what constitutes "adequate information" in situations where consent is sought. In making this decision, it is important to know the type of information that potential participants in research expect and want. Casarett, Karlawish, Sankar, Hirschman, and Asch began to clarify this issue by presenting pain patients with vignettes describing a variety of research and then ask them about the type of information they wish they had before to register. Participants stressed the need for information on studies related to changes in medication, emergency plans, and insurance on how increased pain would be treated. They also raised concerns about opioid dependence as a result of participation in the study. Most patients said they want to know how the knowledge generated from their study could help, as well as the burden and inconvenience associated with study participation. Thirtyeight percent said they would like to know how to participate in the study could give them better access to a health care provider, 55% of the desired information on the availability of treatment after completion of the study, 62% the desired information on changes in medication and dose, 78% of patients described concerns about the pain has increased due to participation in the study, 70% said they want information on previous studies related treatment, and all patients said they wanted information about potential treatments and side effects. Patients were also asked whether they have continued access to treatment used in the study after the trial is over. Studies such as Casaret et al. HADJISTAVR OPOULOS 334, can be invaluable for researchers in optimization procedures for consent for their research. Similar surveys specifically on psychological studies of pain would be useful.

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