Clinical Research 101 - How to Read and Understand an Informed Consent Form

The informed consent form is a document that explains the details of a clinical research study.

In this video, we explain how to read and understand the important sections of this form to help patients and their loved ones arrive at an informed decision before participating.

Read the full video transcript below:

In this video, we will discuss how to read and understand an informed consent form when participating in clinical research. Let's begin.

An informed consent form is a document that explains the details of a clinical research study. It provides essential information, such as the purpose of the study, possible risks and benefits, and the rights and responsibilities of participants. This form ensures that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about participating in the study.

Informed consent forms can vary, but they usually have the following sections:


This section explains why the study is being conducted and what researchers hope to learn. It may also mention the specific medical condition or treatment being studied.


This part describes the steps involved in the study, such as tests, treatments, or visits to the research site. It may also include a timeline or schedule for these procedures.

Risks and Benefits: 

Here, you'll find information about the potential risks and benefits of participating in the study. It's important to weigh these carefully before making a decision.


This section explains how your personal information will be protected and who will have access to your data.


If applicable, this part will detail any payments or reimbursements you may receive for participating in the study.

Voluntary Participation and Withdrawal:

This section clarifies that your participation is voluntary, and you can withdraw from the study at any time without penalty.

Contact Information:

Finally, you'll find contact information for the research team and an independent person or organization you can reach out to with any questions or concerns.

When reading the informed consent form, keep these tips in mind:

Take your time. Don't rush through the form. Read it carefully and make sure you understand each section.

Ask questions. If something is unclear or you have concerns, don't hesitate to ask the research team for more information.

Seek advice. You may wish to discuss the study with your healthcare provider, family, or friends to get their input before making a decision.

Understanding the informed consent form is crucial to making an informed decision about participating in clinical research. 

Take your time, ask questions, and seek advice when needed. 

Your participation is valuable, and your well-being is always a priority.