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Gaining approvals for mental health research in the NHS

  • Miriam Cooper, Olga Eyre, Joanne Doherty and Rhys Bevan Jones
Summary

When embarking on mental health research it is often necessary to apply for approvals from one or more review bodies to ensure that the research is ethical and that the safety and well-being of participants are safeguarded. This can be complicated and time consuming, particularly to those unfamiliar with the process. In this article we describe the approvals commonly required for National Health Service-based research involving patients and endeavour to clearly explain what is involved at each stage. We then highlight some of the main considerations, including ethical aspects, which are particularly pertinent to conducting research in the field of mental health, and finish with general advice and considerations for future developments in the area.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Miriam Cooper, Cardiff University School of Medicine, 2nd Floor, Hadyn Ellis Building, Maindy Road, Cathays, Cardiff CF24 4HQ, UK. Email: cooperml1@cardiff.ac.uk
Footnotes
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LEARNING OBJECTIVES

• Gain understanding of the processes involved in applying for approvals in NHS research

• Gain awareness of particular issues in mental health research, including capacity, consent, stigma and confidentiality

• Consider factors such as the time it can take to obtain research permissions and the importance of building good working relationships with the relevant committees from the start

DECLARATION OF INTEREST

None

Footnotes
References
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Beauchamp, T, Childress, J (1979) Principles of Biomedical Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Corrigan, P, Kerr, A, Knudsen, L (2005) The stigma of mental illness: explanatory models and methods for change. Applied and Preventive Psychology, 11: 179–90.
Gaw, A (2006) Beyond consent: the potential for atrocity. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 99: 175–7.
Health and Care Research Wales (2015) Health and Care Research Wales, Strategic Plan 2015–2020. Welsh Government.
Mental Health Research Network & INVOLVE (2013) Budgeting for Involvement: Practical Advice on Budgeting for Actively Involving the Public in Research Studies. Mental Health Research Network & INVOLVE.
National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (undated) NHS Wales – R&D Office Functions. Welsh Government (http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/documents/952/2.2%20Functions%20of%20a%20R&D%20Office%20-%20FINAL.pdf). Accessed 10 Nov 2015.
National Patient Safety Agency, National Research Ethics Service (2011) Information Sheets & Consent Forms: Guidance for Researchers & Reviewers. National Patient Safety Agency, National Research Ethics Service.
NHS Health Research Authority (2013) Questions and Answers – Mental Capacity Act 2005. NHS Health Research Authority (http://www.hra.nhs.uk/resources/research-legislation-and-governance/questions-and-answers-mental-capacity-act-2005).
NHS National Institute for Health Research (2013) Good Practice Guidance for Involving People with Experience of Mental Health Problems in Research. Mental Health Research Network.
Petrie, K, Faasse, K, Notman, TA et al (2013) How distressing is it to participate in medical research? A calibration study using an everyday events questionnaire. JRSM Short Reports, 4 (10): 2042533313493271.
Saks, E, Jeste, D (2006) Capacity to consent to or refuse treatment and/or research: theoretical considerations. Behavioural Sciences & the Law, 24: 411–29.
Samaritans (2013) Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide. Samaritans (http://www.samaritans.org/media-centre/media-guidelines-reporting-suicide).
World Medical Association (2013) World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki: ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. JAMA, 310: 2191–4.
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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 2056-4678
  • EISSN: 2056-4686
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-advances
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Gaining approvals for mental health research in the NHS

  • Miriam Cooper, Olga Eyre, Joanne Doherty and Rhys Bevan Jones
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