Background: School students? views and perceptions of informed parental consent and child
assent about child participation in research in the Middle East are not known.
Methods: Focus group interviews were conducted to understand high school students? perspectives
toward child and adolescent assents and consents in research including the importance
of, and depth of information needed in consent and assent, and perception toward written vs
verbal consent and assent.
Results: The majority of students agreed that it is necessary to take parental approval and that
they would not participate in research if their parents refused. Furthermore, the majority of male
students agreed that if the research requires only questionnaires to be completed, then child?s
approval is sufficient whereas measures, such as blood sugar screening required approval from
both the parent and child. Females believed it is enough to provide parental consent to participate
in research unless information provided is adequate, then child approval is enough. All students
stressed the importance of including detailed information; however, parental consent needs to
have more detailed information than child assent.
Conclusion: Parts of the students? perceptions were congruent, whereas other views were
not congruent with proper conduct of pediatric research. Such a situation warrants further research and actions