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Original Articles

Ethical review committees in Sri Lanka: a national framework is required

Authors:

Jennifer Perera ,

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, LK
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DP Galaboda,

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, LK
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D Gunawardena

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, LK
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Abstract

A questionnaire based study to review the status of the Ethical Review Committee (ERCs) was conducted in universities and research institutes involved in bio-medical and psycho-social research.

Questionnaires were sent to 37 faculties of 11 universities. Thirty faculties responded. The 6 medical faculties were among the 8 faculties that had ERCs. Questionnaires were sent to 10 research institutes and 3 associations. Among 8 institutes and 2 associations that responded, only the Medical Research Institute and the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) had ERCs. Fifty percent of the ERCs had a specific application form and there was no uniformity in the information obtained from the researchers. Some application forms lacked essential information relevant to ethical review. Information on availability of consent forms, source of funding, investigations, control selection, review of literature, Co-investigators information, educational qualifications of the investigators are some of them.

Sixty percent of ERCs had only academic staff or doctors as committee members. The recruitment of members to the committee did not follow a formal process and no institutional guidelines were available for ERC committee members. In the current context there is a need to establish a national framework for ethical review in Sri Lanka for educating researchers and to regularize ethical review of research.

DOI = 10.4038/cjms.v48i2.123

The Ceylon Journal of Medical Science 2005; 48: 62-66

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjms.v48i2.123
How to Cite: Perera, J., Galaboda, D. & Gunawardena, D., (2008). Ethical review committees in Sri Lanka: a national framework is required. Ceylon Journal of Medical Science. 48(2), pp.61–66. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjms.v48i2.123
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Published on 22 Oct 2008.
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