INFORMED CONSENT

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH:

As a health professional (M.P.A.) and a pre-doctoral fellow with the Research Group on Disparities in Health within the Department of Health and Behavior Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York, New York, I am also working with my sponsor on this study. We are studying how African American women rate nine 2 minute Avatar (cartoon-like) videos on methods of preventing pregnancy, as well as answer survey questions. Our goal is to evaluate what we have designed to be culturally appropriate health education for preventing unintended pregnancy.
Study Location: The research is being conducted online. Participants can only access the study by following the study link. This can be done wherever the participant has access to a computer and the internet.

RISKS AND BENEFITS:

Potential Risks: There are no anticipated risks to participants in this study. When answering questions in this study, some participants might experience embarrassment, discomfort, emotional pain, sadness, or stress. This is a risk of answering some survey questions. Although, we would encourage study completion, a participant can discontinue participation in this study at any time. Simply exit the study, and delete the link to the study. Any participant who becomes upset can pursue help, as follows, as an Internet user: conduct a search via Google.com by entering “free online counseling.” For example, go to http://www.myshrink.com/online-crisis-counseling-t.php and access support 24 hours a day/seven days a week from a trained professional volunteer; or, go to http://www.psychresources.net/ to access online counseling resources; or, go to http://www.mytherapycouch.com/free_online_therapy/ to receive free online therapy with a qualified professional. Again, we do not think that study participation will trigger so much discomfort that this is necessary. But, we offer these suggestions just in case you do experience discomfort.

Remember, participation in this study is completely voluntary. Participants can end their involvement in the study at any time. Simply exit the study, and delete the link to the study.

There is another risk for study participants. Participants may experience feelings of fatigue, frustration, or boredom while answering survey questions. We have taken steps to minimize this risk. We did this by selecting only the most important questions. And, we attempted to limit the amount of time it takes to answer questions.

There is another potential risk. This involves feeling influenced by someone or pressured to participate in the study. No participant should feel forced or pressured to be in the study. The use of an online survey means that the researcher has no way of knowing who actually took the survey and who did not. This reduces/minimizes the risk of your feeling coerced, pressured, or forced to participate in the study. Remember, you can discontinue study participation at any time. Simply exit the survey and delete the link to the survey.

Potential Benefits: There are no direct benefits for study participants. No benefits from study participation are being promised or guaranteed. Some potential benefit is possible.

For example, as a part of this study, a participant may look at, review, or evaluate the website linked to the survey. This may include clicking links to information, resources, and videos. There may be some positive benefit from looking at these health education materials. A positive benefit is expected. However, no positive benefit is guaranteed. There is no way of knowing if any negative consequences follow from looking at website content. Again, no positive benefit is guaranteed.

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