Knowing why parents decide to consent or dissent to participation of their child in pediatric clinical research is essential to further the ethical debate concerning pediatric research. We performed this qualitative focus group study with 16 parents from the Dutch general public to explore their perspectives on decisions to participate in pediatric clinical research. Group discussion revealed the following: Parents conflate clinical research and clinical care, they do not grasp the trajectory of pediatric drug development, their protectiveness matches current research guidelines, and benefit for their child is the most important factor in their decision. Research professionals should be aware of the knowledge gap of parents, the pitfalls of jargon, and unintended false expectations.

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Keywords clinical trials, children and adolescent/pediatrics, parental consent/child assent, decision-making, capacity/surrogate decision makers, research ethics
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Series VSNU Open Access deal
Journal Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
Tromp, K, & van de Vathorst, S. (2019). Parents' Perspectives on Decisions to Participate in Pediatric Clinical Research: Results From a Focus Group Study With Laypeople. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 14(3), 243–253. doi:10.1177/1556264619845599