“They were already inside my head to begin with”: Trust, Translational Misconception, and Intraoperative Brain Research

Ally Peabody Smith, Lauren Taiclet, Hamasa Ebadi, Liliana Levy, Megan Weber, Eugene M. Caruso, Nader Pouratian, Ashley Feinsinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Patients undergoing invasive neurosurgical procedures offer researchers unique opportunities to study the brain. Deep brain stimulation patients, for example, may participate in research during the surgical implantation of the stimulator device. Although this research raises many ethical concerns, little attention has been paid to basic studies, which offer no therapeutic benefits, and the value of patient-participant perspectives. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with fourteen individuals across two studies who participated in basic intraoperative research during their deep brain stimulator surgery. Interviews explored interpretations of risks and benefits, enrollment motivations, and experiences of participating in awake brain research. Reflexive thematic analysis was conducted. Results: Seven themes were identified from participant narratives, including robust attitudes of trust, high valuations of basic science research, impacts of the surgical context, and mixed experiences of participation. Conclusion: We argue that these narratives raise the potential for a translational misconception and motivate intraoperative re-consent procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAJOB Empirical Bioethics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • deep brain stimulation
  • informed consent
  • neurosurgery
  • participant perspectives
  • Research ethics
  • translational misconception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Philosophy
  • Health Policy

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