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J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics. 2011 Jun;6(2):13-21. doi: 10.1525/jer.2011.6.2.13.

Relationships between community-based processes for research ethics review and institution-based IRBs: a national study.

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  • 1University of New England School of Social Work, Portland, ME 04103, USA. nshore@une.edu


Community groups are implementing research ethics review processes to determine whether and how research is conducted in their communities. We report on a survey of 109 of these community-based review processes about their relationships with institution based research ethics boards (I-REBs). Ninety-two percent reported that studies they review were also reviewed by an I-REB. Over half characterized their relationship with I-REBs positively. Those with positive relationships were significantly more likely to communicate with the involved I-REBs. Challenges when working with I-REBs included delays, communication problems, and lack of I-REB understanding of community-based participatory research. Strengthening relationships between community-based review processes and I-REBs could ultimately enhance reviews of community-engaged research.

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