IRB: Ethics & Human Research

Continuing Ethics Review Practices by Canadian Research Ethics Boards

This study examined Canadian Research Ethics Board (REB) practices concerning continuing ethics review of approved studies. A mail-out questionnaire was used to elicit information from Canadian REB representatives about whether their board engaged in continuing ethics review, and, if so, what their methods were. The study found that a majority (87.4%) of REBs conduct continuing ethics review. REBs conduct continuing ethics review of clinical trial research significantly more often than of academic research. The study also found little difference in the frequency of continuing ethics review between academic and other types of REBs. The most commonly reported method for conducting continuing ethics review was a review of ongoing research reports.

Key words/concepts: continuing ethics review, research ethics board, REB, Tri-Council Policy Statement, TCPS, research misconduct, research ethics principles.