Considerations When Writing and Presenting Consent Forms for Clients

Gene Ann Behrens, Elizabethtown College


While the writing and presentation of most general consent forms can be accomplished using a checklist of what to include and say, different nuances and considerations enter the process when the participants of a research study involve present or past clients who retain their legal rights. This process is even more challenging for student music therapists conducting research as part of a school-related project. While the Belmont Report and the American Music Therapy Association's (AMTA) Code of Ethics ( provide some insights and direction for many ethical research decisions, music therapy researchers also must be aware of their values, morals, and integrity, as well as various ethical considerations. Based on an example scenario, six ethical questions related to writing and presenting a consent form for a past client are discussed along with references to the Belmont Report and AMTA's Code of Ethics. 1