On Using Ethical Principles of Community-Engaged Research in Translational Science

Published in: Translational Research, Jan. 2016

Posted on RAND.org on January 28, 2016

by Dmitry Khodyakov, Lisa Mikesell, Ron Schraiber, Marika Booth, Elizabeth Bromley

Read More

Access further information on this document at Translational Research

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

The transfer of new discoveries into both clinical practice and the wider community calls for reliance on interdisciplinary translational teams that include researchers with different areas of expertise, representatives of healthcare systems and community organizations, and patients. Engaging new stakeholders in research, however, calls for a re-consideration or expansion of the meaning of ethics in translational research. We explored expert opinion on the applicability of ethical principles commonly practiced in community-engaged research (CEnR) to translational research. To do so, we conducted two online, modified-Delphi panels with 63 expert stakeholders who iteratively rated and discussed nine ethical principles commonly used in CEnR in terms of their importance and feasibility for use in translational research. The RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method was used to analyze the data and determine agreement and disagreement among participating experts. Both panels agreed that ethical translational research should be "grounded in trust." While the academic panel endorsed "culturally appropriate" and "forthcoming with community about study risks and benefits," the mixed academic-community panel endorsed "scientifically valid" and "ready to involve community in interpretation and dissemination" as important and feasible principles of ethical translational research. These findings suggest that in addition to protecting human subjects, contemporary translational science models need to account for the interests of, and owe ethical obligations to, members of the investigative team and the community at large.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.