Cerebral Palsy Research Network Blog

CPRN Delivers eConsent Tool to Accelerate COVID-19 Research

The Cerebral Palsy Research Network (CPRN) delivered an innovative new eConsent tool to the University of Utah to help accelerate multiple COVID-19 research studies under development.  In addition to the core goals for eConsent to improve participants’ understanding of research studies, risks and benefits, eConsent provides additional safety and equality in research by supporting social distancing and the inclusion of rural populations in research.

CPRN’s eConsent tool was developed in conjunction with University of Utah’s Erin Rothwell, PhD whose NIH funded research on eConsent has demonstrated significant benefits to study participants over paper-based consent (HD082148).  CPRN principal investigator Michael Kruer, MD, from Phoenix Children’s Hospital, sought an eConsent solution for his recently funded cerebral palsy (CP) genetics research (NS106298). CPRN, Rothwell and Kruer partnered to expand Rothwell’s original mobile prototype to a browser and mobile device application for a wide variety of informed consent scenarios.

“We are excited that CPRN has been able to develop such a rich feature set of interactive features to improve participant comprehension within eConsent in such a timely manner,” said Dr. Rothwell, Associate Vice President for Research Integrity and Compliance for the University of Utah.  “Deploying eConsent at the University to support the demand for COVID-19 studies while keeping our patients and clinicians safe is of paramount importance during this pandemic.”

CPRN sees eConsent as an important building block in its mission to accelerate research for cerebral palsy.  Tools that increase the community’s understanding of research objectives while making the consent process more efficient and effective is important to conducting more research into CP and including more members of the community in the process.  CPRN will provide its eConsent platform to sites conducting research its network.