Obtaining ethical approvals

This chapter has so far demonstrated how ethics should be embedded in every aspect of a project, rather than focusing on the point at which ethical approval from a committee is required. However, the specific process of obtaining a research ethics committee approval can be complex. Each country has its own research ethics approvals in place, either operating at a national or institutional level. Depending on whether a study specifically involves patients or members of the public, ethical approval may be sought directly through the healthcare system or healthcare institution, or it may be sought through a university affiliated with the research. Each research ethics committee will have different requirements. However, there are certain aspects that remain fairly constant between institutions and countries. In general, there are three particularly important documents required by ethics committees:

  • ? Research protocol
  • ? Participant information sheet
  • ? Consent form
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