Recruitment and Consent in an observational study

Michaela Goodwin William Whittaker Tanya Walsh Richard Emsley Matthew Sutton Martin Tickle Michael Kelly Iain Pretty

Recruitment and Consent in an observational study

Authors: Michaela Goodwin William Whittaker Tanya Walsh Richard Emsley Matthew Sutton Martin Tickle Michael Kelly Iain Pretty
doi: 10.1922/CDH_000682020Goodwin06

Abstract

Objective: The study sought to explore the consent rate and associated potential bias across a cohort in a large longitudinal population based study. Research design: Data were taken from a study designed to examine the effects of the reintroduction of community water fluoridation on children’s oral health over a five-year period. Children were recruited from a fluoridated and non-fluoridated area in Cumbria, referred to as Group 1 and Group 2. Results: Data were available for 3138 individuals. The consent rate was 12.91 percentage points lower in Group 2 than Group 1 (95% CI -16.27 to -9.56, p<0.001). The population in Group 2 was more deprived (higher Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD)) than Group 1 before consent was taken. Consent was not associated with deprivation in either group. Conclusion: The cohort appeared to be unaffected by IMD-related non-consent. However there was a difference in consent rate between the two groups. With the population in Group 1 being more deprived than Group 2, it will be important to incorporate these differences into the analysis at the end of this longitudinal study. Keywords: Public health, consent, bias, deprivation, water fluoridation

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