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Title: Consistency in research ethics committee decision-making: a controlled comparison
Authors: Angell, Emma L.
Sutton, Alex J.
Windridge, Kate C.
Dixon-Woods, Mary
First Published: 30-Oct-2006
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
Citation: Journal of Medical Ethics, 2006, 32 (11), pp. 662-664.
Abstract: There has been longstanding interest in the consistency of decisions made by research ethics committees (RECs) in the UK, but most of the evidence has come from single studies submitted to multiple committees. A systematic comparison was carried out of the decisions made on 18 purposively selected applications, each of which was reviewed independently by three different RECs in a single strategic health authority. Decisions on 11 applications were consistent, but disparities were found among RECs on decisions on seven applications. An analysis of the agreement between decisions of RECs yielded an overall measure of agreement of k = 0.286 (95% confidence interval 20.06 to 0.73), indicating a level of agreement that, although probably better than chance, may be described as ‘‘slight’’. The small sample size limits the robustness of these findings. Further research on reasons for inconsistencies in decision making between RECs, and on the importance of such inconsistencies for a range of arguments, is needed.
DOI Link: 10.1136/jme.2005.014159
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Article
Rights: Copyright © 2006,BMJ Publishing Group. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Description: This is the author's final draft of the article which was published in the Journal of Medical Ethics. The final, as published, version is available on the publisher's website;
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Health Sciences

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