This article investigates the readability of consent forms currently used for clinical trial enrollment in a wide variety of studies across several institutions. The fundamental conclusions are the following:
Veterinary clinical study consent forms evaluated in the present study were not optimized for client comprehension based on readability scores assigned via 3 common methods. Furthermore, our results suggest that the average consent form would require a college level education to read and comprehend. Future work should focus on optimizing readability of veterinary clinical research consent forms, and clinicians and administrators should be aware of simple and validated methods, such as F-K Grade Level, which are readily available to them in their word processing program.