Research in epidemic and emergency situations: A model for collaboration and expediting ethics review in two Caribbean countries

Dev World Bioeth. 2018 Dec;18(4):375-384. doi: 10.1111/dewb.12157. Epub 2017 Jul 28.


Various forms of research are essential in emergency, disaster and disease outbreak situations, but challenges exist including the long length of time it takes to get research proposals approved. Consequently, it would be very advantageous to have an acceptable model for efficient coordination and communication between and among research ethics committees/IRBs and ministries of health, and templates for expediting (done with speed and efficiency) ethical review of research proposals in emergency and epidemic situations to be used across the Caribbean and in other low and middle income countries. This project involved a literature search and the interviewing of ministry of health officials, public health practitioners, and research ethics committee/IRB members in Jamaica and St. Lucia, to obtain suggestions for the best model for efficient coordination and communication between research ethics committees (RECs), and developed a template for expediting review of research protocols in epidemic and emergency conditions.

Keywords: ethics review; ministry of health; research ethics; research ethics committee / IRB; research in emergency; research protocols.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caribbean Region
  • Communication
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Developing Countries
  • Disasters*
  • Efficiency*
  • Emergencies*
  • Epidemics*
  • Ethical Review*
  • Ethics Committees, Research
  • Ethics, Research
  • Government Agencies
  • Humans
  • Jamaica
  • Public Health / ethics*
  • Research Design
  • Saint Lucia
  • Surveys and Questionnaires