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Table 1 Different concepts of ‘understanding’

From: An integrated conceptual framework for evaluating and improving ‘understanding’ in informed consent

Types of ‘understanding’ Description Exemplary methods of assessment
Objective understanding Correct knowledge of certain facts after having read IC documents Knowledge or memory tests by means of (1) standardized questionnaires or interviews, or (2) by asking participants to rephrase facts in their own words
Subjective understanding Subjective impression of having understood certain facts after reading IC documents Open question, e.g., “Do you think you have understood the given information? If not, what were the text passages you find difficult to understand?”
General understandability Personal impression of whether the given information is in principle easy to understand for others, e.g., members of the target group Open question, e.g., “How easy do you think will it be for others to understand the given information?”