Public Perspectives on Biospecimen Procurement: What Biorepositories Should Consider

- Biopreservation and Biobanking
Author/s: -L'Heureux, Jamie -Murray, Jeffrey C -Newbury, Elizabeth -Shinkunas, Laura -Simon, Christian M
Journal: Biopreservation and Biobanking
Year: 2013
Volume: 11
Issue: 3
Pages: 137-143
Start Page: 137

Purpose: Human biospecimens are central to biobanking efforts, yet how members of the public think about biobank procurement strategies is not well understood. This study aimed to explore public perspectives toward the procurement of residual clinical material versus “direct” procurement strategies such as the drawing of blood.Methods: Members of the public residing in and beyond the biobank catchment area of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics were randomly selected to participate in focus groups and a telephone survey.Results: The majority of survey participants (75%, n=559) found both residual and direct procurement strategies equally workable. Small proportions preferred either residual (15%; n=117) or direct (5%; n=40) procurement. Focus group participants (n=48) could identify benefits to both procurement strategies, but raised concerns about possible donor inconvenience/discomfort and reduced biospecimen accrual in the case of direct procurement. Residual procurement raised concerns about lower-quality samples being procured without full donor awareness. Conclusion: Biobanks should consider that members of the public in their research programs may be willing to make specimen donations regardless of whether a residual or direct procurement strategy is employed. Limiting patient discomfort and inconvenience may make direct procurement strategies more acceptable to some members of the public. Ensuring donor awareness through effective informed consent may allay public concerns about the indirectness of donating clinical biospecimens.