IDENTIFYING THE BARRIERS BETWEEN RESEARCHERS AND ETHICAL REVIEW COMMITTEE: A PILOT STUDY
Background: Approval from Ethical Review Committee (ERC) has often been considered a challenge by researchers. Regular evaluation of ERC procedures has been recommended globally. We have evaluated working of ERC at Foundation University by identifying gaps between ERC and researchers with the vision to improve the efficiency of the committee. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted, after permission from president ERC. We developed a structured feedback proforma with 20 questions regarding application form, its processing and over all experience of researchers. A total of 65 volunteer faculty members who had ever applied to ERC for approval, participated in study. A descriptive analysis was done using spreadsheets. Results: Out of 65 volunteers, 41 returned and completed the proforma. More than 50% (n=24) respondents considered application form was simple to comprehend, however, 40% (n=17) agreed that ERC should provide assistance in its completion. The good majority received final approval letter within one month of application however almost none received proper acknowledgement of receipt and notification of time taken for review. Two third participants (66%, n=27) showed confidence in ERC decisions. Improvement in communication between ERC and researchers through IT support was suggested. Conclusions: Researchers agreed that ERC at Foundation University with its limited resources was fulfilling its role of timely review process and showed confidence in its decisions. The communication lack between ERC and researchers was considered major weakness.
Keywords: Ethical rreview process, communication gaps, researchers’ feedback
Pak J Physiol 2018;14(4):55–7
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