Volume 34, Issue 1 (2-2020)                   Med J Islam Repub Iran 2020 | Back to browse issues page

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Hashemi A, Bahmani F, Saeedi Tehrani S, Forouzandeh M, Koohpayehzadeh J, Ashrafi M, et al . Ethical considerations and interdisciplinary approach to research on COVID-19 pandemic: The response of Iran University of Medical Sciences. Med J Islam Repub Iran 2020; 34 (1) :614-617
URL: http://mjiri.iums.ac.ir/article-1-6789-en.html
Research Center for Addiction and Risky Behaviors (ReCARB), Psychosocial Health Research Institute (PHRI), Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran , motevalian.a@iums.ac.ir
Abstract:   (1708 Views)
Background: Research ethics committees are comprised of policymakers, supervisors, and decision-makers and aim at increasing adherence to professional ethics standards in conducting health-related research. The existential philosophy of these committees is to preserve the patients’ health, maintain and promote public trust in health care providers, protect the rights of both patients and health care providers, and promote organizational ethics.
However, this task can be complex and challenging during a public health emergency. Research ethics committees set the standard of research in the emergency situations through defining which research has the potential to promote the quality of response to a public health emergency. 
   Methods: This study aims at collecting and classifying the valuable experiences of the research ethics committee members and reviewers during the early days of the COVID-19 epidemic in Iran University of Medical Sciences, one of the major universities in Tehran. It provides a basic understanding of the key concepts and challenges in reviewing and approving research by research ethics committees and the recommendations to overcome these challenging issues.
   Results: To accelerate the review process of COVID-19 research proposals, the scientific, methodologic and ethics review panel was integrated as a large committee called ‘IUMS COVID-19 research committee.’ The first meeting was held on March 7, two weeks after the official announcement of the first case of the disease and, as of the writing of this article, is being held once a week. A total of 130 projects have been discussed and evaluated in this committee, among which 83 proposals were approved after modification.
   Conclusion: An interdisciplinary approach supports a flexible and effective scientific and ethics review of research leading to more protection of research subjects as well as promotion in the treatment and management of the pandemic ahead.
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Type of Study: Original Research | Subject: Medical Ethics

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