Background: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a brain stimulation technique currently being researched as an alternative or complimentary treatment for various neurological disorders. There is little knowledge about experiences of the participants of tDCS clinical research, especially from pediatric studies. Methods: An interview study with typically developing minors (n = 19, mean age 13,66 years) participating in a tDCS study, and their parents (n = 18) was conducted to explore their views and experiences and inform the ethical analysis. Results: Children (10–13 years old) and adolescents (14–18 years old) reported good experiences with the stimulation. Next to financial incentives, main motives to participate in the study were curiosity and the possibility to help develop treatments for children affected by neurological disorders. They could also see a potential of using tDCS in a non-medical setting, especially regarding the provision of equal opportunity, e.g. in education. Parents also presented a positive attitude towards tDCS and their children participation in the basic research study. Nevertheless, their understanding of tDCS was rather poor. Even though many of them understood the techniques, they often did not see the link between the (current) lack of side effects and an absence of longitudinal studies. Parents were also cautious about using tDCS for non-medical/enhancement purposes. Conclusions: The study findings show a need for more transparent information about the state of the art of tDCS, its function and what it might be able to offer, especially considering the good acceptability of tDCS.
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2023|
Sustainable Development Goals
- Neuroethics, Pediatric research, Research ethics, tDCS, INFORMED-CONSENT, DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER, NONINVASIVE BRAIN-STIMULATION, CLINICAL-TRIALS, USERS