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Ethical Review of Quality Improvement Activities in Health Services submission

ID: 
7
Personal Details
First Name: 
Alison
Last Name: 
Poulton
Specific Comments
Comments: 
QI and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007)

Re using the NS: Ethical review of QI activities in health services

Research merit and integrity

Although I agree that the quality of the QI, or any other research activity, should be sound, with achievable aims and based on a thorough understanding of the literature and using robust methods, I am concerned about the phrase 'person or teams with the appropriate skills, knowledge and experience'. There would appear to be no criteria explaining this. Coming from a clinical background, I know the difficulties of conducting research as an individual on the outside of recognised research teams and with minimal track record. I am very concerned that this will be used as a gateway into research that results in individuals being denied the opportunity to conduct research, even research of negligible risk. This could result in loss to the community of potentially valuable research that is likely to be entirely funded by the researcher with no financial costs to the community. I think that rather than using lack of experience as a means to deny a potential researcher the opportunity to get started, which could be interpreted as imposing a limitation on the individual's efforts towards career advancement, HRECs should specify mechanisms such as frequent reporting or HREC approval prior to publication in cases where there is concern regarding the researcher's level of experience. This would help to fulfill the aim of promoting rather than restricting ethical research.

Page reviewed: 17 June, 2013