Decisional Capacity to Consent to Clinical Research Involving Placebo in Psychiatric Patients

Giovanna Parmigiani, Gabriele Mandarelli, Claudia Dacquino, Pieritalo Pompili, Giovanni Lelli Chiesa, Stefano Ferracuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evidence from a few studies indicates the existence of several issues related to psychiatric patients' decisional capacity to give informed consent to clinical research. Clinicians often face difficulties in acquiring valid informed consent in clinical practice and even more so in drug trials. Participants often fail to fully understand or retain information regarding the actual implications of research protocols. The Brief Assessment for Consent to Clinical Research (BACO) was developed to investigate capacity to consent to clinical trials and further compare patients with schizophrenia and healthy comparisons' decisional capacity. A method to avoid possible confounding effects of choosing a treatment regarding a current disease was applied. The study groups were administered the BACO and the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Clinical Research. Psychiatric patients performed poorer in comprehending, appreciating, and reasoning abilities, than their healthy counterparts. Impaired cognitive functioning and psychiatric symptoms severity were associated with reduced capacity to consent.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2015


  • Clinical research
  • Forensic science
  • Informed consent
  • Mental competency
  • Research ethics
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Decisional Capacity to Consent to Clinical Research Involving Placebo in Psychiatric Patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this