Participatory action research: considerations for ethical review
This paper addresses the distinctive nature of participatory action research (PAR) in relation to ethical review requirements. As a framework for conducting research and reducing health disparities, PAR is gaining increased attention in community and public health research. As a result, PAR researchers and members of Research Ethics Boards could benefit from an increased understanding of the array of ethical concerns that can arise. We discuss these concerns in light of commonly held ethical requirements for clinical research (social or scientific value, scientific validity, fair subject/participant selection, favourable risk–benefit ratio, independent review, informed consent, and respect for potential and enrolled participants) and refer to guidelines specifically developed for participatory research in health promotion. We draw from our community-based experiences in mental health promotion research with immigrant and culturally diverse youth to illustrate the ethical advantages and challenges of applying a PAR approach. We conclude with process suggestions for Research Ethics Boards.
Khanlou N. and Peter E (2005) Participatory action research: considerations for ethical review, Social Science & Medicine, Volume 60, Issue 10, May 2005, Pages 2333-2340