Article Text

PDF
Review of a mock research protocol in functional neuroimaging by Canadian research ethics boards
  1. J de Champlain1,
  2. J Patenaude2
  1. 1Centre de recherche clinique, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
  2. 2Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke
  1. Correspondence to:
 J Patenaude
 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke, 3001 Twelfth Avenue North, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1H 5N4; johane.patenaude{at}usherbrooke.ca

Abstract

Objective: To examine how research ethics boards (REBs) review research projects in emerging disciplines such as functional neuroimaging.

Design: To compare the criteria applied and the decisions reached by REBs that reviewed the same mock research protocol in functional neuroimaging.

Participants: 44 Canadian biomedical REBs, mostly working in public university or hospital settings.

Main measurements: The mock research protocol “The Neurobiology of Social Behavior” included several ethical issues operating at all three levels: personal, institutional and social. Data consisting of responses to closed questions were analysed quantitatively. Qualitative analysis of open-question responses used mixed classification.

Results: Similar criteria were used by most participating REBs. Yet the project was unconditionally approved by 3 REBs, approved conditionally by 10 and rejected by 30.

Conclusions: The results point to the difficulty for REBs of reviewing all kinds of research projects, regardless of field, by relying on international and national norms framed in general terms and a possible variation between REBs in the interpretation of their mandate for the protection of research subjects.

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Funding: This study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

  • Competing interests: None.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.