GFBR 2021 seminar series

Ethical issues arising in research with people with mental health conditions

In the lead up to the annual GFBR meeting in November 2021, this seminar series will provide an opportunity to discuss some of the key ethics and governance issues regarding mental health research. It will also address the ethics of involving people with mental health problems in research more broadly. This background paper contains information about the GFBR theme and details for the individual seminars are below. The seminar series is open to all, so please do join us!

Overview of the seminar series

SeminarTitleDate (all 1-2.30pm UK)Registration links
1The impact of COVID-19 on mental health research practice: ethical issues   Mon 27 Sept  Register
2Equipping researchers to ethically involve people with mental health conditions in researchWed 13 OctRegister
3Governance of research involving people with mental health conditions   Tues 26 Oct  Register
4The ethics of neurodevelopmental disorders researchTues 9 NovRegister
5The ethics of mental health research involving adolescents Tues 23 NovRegister

Seminar 1 – The impact of COVID-19 on mental health research: ethical issues

Monday 27 September 2021 | 1PM BST (GMT+1) | Register

This seminar is jointly held with the Epidemic Ethics seminar series

This seminar will explore the ethics of how mental health research practice has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussion will include the ethical implications of transferring face-to-face research online and what safeguards are needed to protect the wellbeing of participants at a time when support from the research team or external services may be reduced due to social distancing and other restrictions. How do we ensure ethically robust mental health research in the time of COVID-19 and how best can researchers involve people with lived experience in the design of research as it transitions to the digital world? 

Chair: Ross Upshur, University of Toronto, Canada

Panel:
Professor Ellen Townsend
, Self-harm Research Group, University of Nottingham, UK 
Dr Abhishek Ghosh, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, India 
Professor Jackie Hoare, Consultation–Liaison Psychiatry, University of Cape Town, South Africa

The following questions will form the basis of the seminar’s panel discussion. Seminar attendees are invited to submit questions in advance of the seminar when they register or by email, or during the live discussion.

  1. How has mental health research practice changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and what are the ethical implications (e.g. increased use of remote methods, the potential for high risk research to worsen a participant’s mental health at a time when reduced support is available from either the research team or external support services due to social distancing and other restrictions)?
  2. What counter-measures are required to balance the new ways of conducting research (e.g. the need for adequate (remote) mood assessment before and after a participant’s involvement in research)?
  3. Are the new ways of conducting research being picked up in the ethics review process?
  4. What should be done to ensure ethically robust mental health research in the time of COVID-19 (including the involvement of people with lived experience in research prioritisation and design)?

Background reading

Townsend E, Nielsen E, Allister R, Cassidy SA. Key ethical questions for research during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lancet Psychiatry. 2020 May;7(5):381-383. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30150-4

Choudhury S, Ghosh A. Ethical Considerations of Mental Health Research Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic: Mitigating the Challenges. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine. 2020;42(4):379-381. doi:10.1177/0253717620929097

Download the briefing note.


Seminar 2 – Equipping researchers to ethically involve people with mental health conditions in research

Wednesday 13 October | 1PM BST (GMT+1) | Register

Chair: Jantina de Vries, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Panel: 
Violet Naanyu
, Associate Professor, Moi University, Kenya
Eric Racine, Research Unit Director, Montreal Clinical Research Institute, Canada
Anna Chiumento, Research Associate Primary Care & Mental Health, Liverpool University, UK


Seminar 3 – Governance of research involving people with mental health conditions

Tuesday 26 October | 1PM BST (GMT+1) | Register

Chair: Ana Palmero, Ministry of Health, Argentina 

Panel and presentations: 
Margaret Ojeahere, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
 – Governance in bioethics and mental health research in Nigeria: Are we there yet?

Mercury Shitindo, Africa International University, Kenya
 – Strengthening research capacity in mental health research in low and middle- income countries

Haswira Nor, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia
 – Equity based research ethics governance model for the inclusion of people with mental health conditions in research


Seminar 4 – The ethics of neurodevelopmental disorders research

Tuesday 9 November | 1PM GMT | Register

Chair: Sharon Kleintjes, University of Cape Town, South Africa 

Panel and presentations: 
Ruth Tsigebrhan, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
 – Exclusion criteria versus ethical principle of justice in conducting research in low-income settings

Zsófia Szlamka, King’s College London, UK
 – Who has the right to empower? The case of caregivers of children with developmental disorders

Ashok Mysore Visweswariah, St. John’s Medical College Hospital, India
 – The spectrum of challenges in conducting research for the early identification of Autism Spectrum Disorders


Seminar 5 – Mental health research involving adolescents

Tuesday 23 November | 1PM GMT | Register

Chair: Katharine Wright, Nuffield Council on Bioethics, UK

Panel and presentations: 
Pallab Maulik
, George Institute for Global Health, India
 – Adolescents’ resilience and treatment needs for mental health in Indian slums (ARTEMIS)

Rakhshi Memon, University College London, UK
 – Ethical issues in Randomised Clinical Trials for Adolescents who Self-Harm: the limits of equipoise and evidence

Pamela Garbus, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Mexico
 – Research ethics in an epidemiological study of adolescent mental health in Mexico