Terms of Consent - BC

SmartParent is a prenatal and parenting education program that texts evidence-based messages to guide expectant and new parents through each week of pregnancy and the first year of their baby’s life. Messages are tailored to gestational age of pregnancy and the baby’s age. Pregnancy messages include links to websites, phone numbers, and videos on topics such as fetal growth and development, options for screening in pregnancy, and preparation for labour and delivery. Messages for baby’s first year include links to online and local resources for infant health and development. The SmartParent program was developed to support pregnant people and their families to make evidence-informed choices for healthy pregnancy, childbirth, and early life.

If you sign up for the SmartParent program, you will be asked to complete up to four surveys - at enrollment, at the end of your pregnancy, when your baby is born, and a follow-up survey near your baby’s first birthday. If you enroll after your baby is born, you will be asked to complete only two surveys. You will also be asked to provide your personal health number (PHN), if you enroll during pregnancy, and your child’s PHN. Your enrollment in the SmartParent program does not require completing the surveys or providing your or your child’s PHN - participation is completely voluntary. You can choose to answer some or none of the survey questions.

The information you are asked for in the surveys is used as part of a research study to learn about who signs up for SmartParent and will be used to improve the content, design and delivery of the program. This study is being conducted by academic researchers from the University of British Columbia in collaboration with the BC Ministry of Health, and Provincial Health Authorities. The study has been approved by the Ethics Committees at the Northern, Fraser, Interior, Island, and Vancouver Coastal Health Authorities and the University of British Columbia. You are being invited to take part in this study because you live in Canada and are pregnant or are the parent of an infant under 1 year of age. We have not identified any risks associated with taking part in the surveys. By participating in the program, you may learn more about pregnancy, childbirth, and your child’s health through the first year of life, including what you can do to promote healthy pregnancy, birth, and infant development.

Your survey answers may help us learn how to better reach out to parents to inform them about the program and help us to improve the program. Your confidentiality is respected at all times: no information that discloses your identity will be published. Answers to survey questions will be reported in aggregate—that is, results will be reported for groups and not for individuals.

Your PHN would allow us to measure health outcomes in an anonymous fashion, such as number of prenatal visits attended, and interventions in labour and delivery, such as cesarean delivery rates.

Your child’s PHN would allow us to look at infant health outcomes in an anonymous fashion, such as number of emergency department visits, non-routine visits to primary care providers and reasons for visits to assess whether parents and their children have benefitted from the SmartParent program.

Study staff and investigators will not see your/your child’s PHN and will not be able to link it to any information about your/your child’s health outcomes or your survey answers. SmartParent's technology provider (MEMOTEXT in Toronto, ON) will send your/your child’s PHN in a safe encrypted fashion to Population Data BC (PopData). PopData will use it to send data to the study team without the PHN attached. MEMOTEXT will then erase the PHN from their database.

Participant Consent

By signing up for SmartParent you:

  1. Agree and consent to receive text messages from SmartParent.
  2. Acknowledge the right to discontinue your enrollment in SmartParent and/or the study surveys at any time without giving a reason and without any negative impact on you. You can discontinue receiving text messages from SmartParent by texting “STOP” to the sender (12323).
  3. Accept that SmartParent will not provide you with any personalized medical advice with regard to your individual or your child’s individual circumstances and/or your or your child’s medical condition.
  4. Accept that, although the text messages will be delivered to you without charge, certain data rates may apply for browsing links attached to the text messages, dependent on your phone service provider package.
  5. Confirm that you have had the opportunity to ask questions and have had your questions answered to your satisfaction.

Your participation in the surveys indicates that you are providing consent and that you are expecting that:

  1. Any information you provide in the surveys will be kept confidential.
  2. Only study staff, investigators, and technology provider (MEMOTEXT) will have access to your survey answers. Answers provided to study investigators for analysis by MEMOTEXT will not be linked to your or your child’s personal health number (PHN). 

Contact Information

If you have any questions, or desire further information about this study or the SmartParent program before or after your participation, you can contact the Principal Investigator, Dr. Patricia Janssen or the Research Manager, at 604-875-2314,  or by email at contact@smartparentcanada.ca. If you have any concerns about your rights as a research subject and/or your experiences while participating in this study, contact the Research Subject Information Line at the University of British Columbia Office of Research Services by e-mail at RSIL@ors.ubc.ca or by phone at 604-822-8598 (toll-free: 1-877-822-8598).

Principal Investigator:

Patricia Janssen, PhD, Professor
UBC School of Population and Public Health


H. Bayrampour, PhD Associate Professor, UBC Midwifery Program
M. Coman, RN, MSN Regional Leader, Homelessness and Complex Care Housing, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
N. Fairbrother, PhD, RPsych Clinical Associate Professor, UBC Department of Psychiatry
R. Geoffrion, MD, FRCSC Associate Professor, UBC Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
R. Gibbons, MPH Manager, Healthy Starts, Healthy Schools, Interior Health Authority
W. Hall, RN, PhD, Professor Emeritus, UBC Department of Applied Science and School of Nursing
J. Lidstone, MSc, SLP Patient Advocate
J. Mung-Yi, Hu Simon Fraser University, Graduate student
J. Murray, UBC Department of Applied Science and Department of Nursing, Graduate Student
E. O’Sullivan, RN, BScN MPH Regional Perinatal Program Lead, Island Health Authority
V. Salmons, RN, BSN Executive Lead, Perinatal Program, Northern Health Authority
M. Urbina-Beggs, RN, MN Clinical Nurse Specialist, Fraser Health Authority
S. Vedam, RM, FACNM, MSN, Sci D Professor, Midwifery, UBC Department of Family Practice
B. Wagner, PhD UBC Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Clinical Associate Professor
G. Webster, PhD SFU, Faculty of Health Sciences, Adjunct Professor

Research Manager:

Sara Leckie, MSc
604-875-2345 ext. 5415


This study and the development of SmartParent are funded by the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, BC Children's Hosptial Foundation, the UBC Hampton Research Endowment Fund, the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, the Alva Foundation, the Daymark Foundation, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

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