“Therapeutic misconception” (TM) refers to inappropriate assumptions and beliefs on the part of research participants regarding key distinctions between the purpose, methods, intended benefits, and potential disadvantages of research compared to those of clinical care. Despite an extensive literature describing TM across varied types of research and populations, minimal work has addressed TM in the context of dementia research. This is a serious gap, for several reasons: people with dementia are at significant risk of diminished capacity; surrogate decision makers are typically asked to provide consent on behalf of the person with dementia; and available treatments for dementia are quite limited. More research is needed on the prevalence, nature, and impact of TM in the context of clinical dementia research.
Dunn, L. B., & Palmer, B. W. (2017). When does therapeutic misconception affect surrogates’ or subjects’ decision making about whether to participate in dementia research? AMA Journal of Ethics, 19(7), 678–685. https://doi.org/10.1001/journalofethics.2017.19.7.nlit1-1707