Project Background

How can comics improve clinical care? Healthcare institutions undertake research to improve the safety, effectiveness, and quality of the medical care provided to patients. This is called “Research on Medical Practices.” The use of patients in this research, however, has been the subject of ethical debate recently among patients, physicians, researchers and bioethicists. In 2013, NIH funded a series of research projects to improve the informed-consent process for involving everyday patients in this type of research.

Project Summary

Researchers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics and the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics hired Booster Shot to create a series of whiteboard videos and comics to explain these complex ideas to a sample population of patients, institutional review board members, and the general public. These creative materials will be used to trigger focus group discussions and survey responses. The aim of this research is to assess and compare attitudes about research on medical practices, regarding 1) risks and benefits of and 2) informed consent for participation in.

Whiteboard Videos from The ROMP Ethics Study


Are patients learning?

You can read the full update at the official ROMP Ethics Study website. The research team has completed survey and focus group research. Facilitators and respondents gave the whiteboard videos positive reviews for helping to explain and introduce concepts needed for accurate data collection. Initial findings were presented in the 2014 conference of The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, and more research will be published in the coming months. This project was supported by the National Center For Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number 5UL1TR000423-07. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIH.