How Do We Know that Research Ethics Committees are Really Working? The Neglected Role of Outcomes Assessment in Research Ethics Review
BMC Medical Ethics, Vol. 9, No. 6, 2008
23 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2008
Countries are increasingly devoting significant resources to creating or strengthening research ethics committees (RECs) to review research involving human participants, but there has been insufficient attention to assessing whether these committees actually provide significant benefits to research participants or their communities. This article examines the obstacles RECs face in achieving their goals and the strengths and limitations of existing methods to assess RECs' effectiveness. It then proposes specific mechanisms for incorporating outcomes-oriented questions into the process of REC oversight.
Keywords: research, health, medicine, ethics, developing countries, accreditation, quality assurance, outcomes assessment
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