Demographic differences in willingness to provide broad and narrow consent for biobank research

Altovise T. Ewing, Lori A.H. Erby, Juli Bollinger, Eva Tetteyfio, Luisel J. Ricks-Santi, David Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study examined acceptability of two biobank consent models and evaluated the impact of beliefs about privacy and genetic safeguards on acceptance. Methods: U.S. adults surveyed online in English and Spanish were randomly assigned to one of two scenarios examining acceptance of broad consent (n=1528), or narrow consent (n=1533). Results: Overall, willingness to provide broad (76%) and narrow (74%) consents were similar. African Americans were as likely as white non-Hispanics to accept narrow consent (72% vs. 77%, p=0.35) but significantly less likely to accept broad consent (69% vs. 81%, p=0.004). Education, insurance, and blood donation history were also related to acceptance. Adjusting for beliefs about privacy and policy protections (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, GINA), the effects of the variables were reduced. Respondents who drew comfort from GINA were more likely to support both consent (both p<0.001); those who believed it is impossible to maintain privacy were less likely to find both broad (p=0.04) and narrow models acceptable (p=0.02). Conclusions: Choice of consent model matters when engaging diverse populations in biobank research. Beliefs underlying concerns about privacy and genetic protections should be considered when constructing biobank protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-106
Number of pages9
JournalBiopreservation and Biobanking
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Cell Biology


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