Intended for healthcare professionals


Cross district comparison of applications to research ethics committees

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 09 September 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:660
  1. Paul Garfield, research associatea
  1. a Greenwood Institute of Child Health, Leicester LE30QU
  • Accepted 7 August 1995

Meade has criticised the current need to obtain approval for multicentred research from many different ethics committees.1 Variability between committees has led to research having to be modified or even abandoned in some districts but not others.2 I report the results of applying to 13 ethics committees with in a region for approvalof a study of young people.

Subjects, methods, and results

A regional study of the mental health needs of young offenders was proposed in which adolescents aged 13 to 17 were to be identified by health, social, and juvenile justice agencies. They were to be studied by means of a social and psychiatric interview, an educational assessment, an interview with staff, a postal questionnaire from parents, and a study of notes. The regional health authority identified 14 ethics committees. Approval for the study …

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