Ethics in Community-Based Studies

  • Somayeh Hosseinpour-Niazi Nutrition and Endocrine Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Parvin Mirmiran Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Keywords: Ethics, Community-Based Studies


Background and Aim: Community-based research has a heavier ethical mission than other research because it has to figure out how to better address health issues in the population under study, while protecting the rights of the population under study. The purpose of this study is to examine the ethics of community-based research and its observance at different levels of society, staff and participants.

Materials and Methods: This article searched the databases of Web of science, PubMed, Scopus, google scholar, Magiran, SID with keywords in ethics, community based studies and population based studies.

Findings: Five ethical principles that must be considered in community-based research include: 1. Protecting the health and well-being of populations; 2. Respecting populations and their right to decide on themselves; (3. Protecting The vulnerable population and the need for specific research inquiries; 4. The protection of confidential information, the integrity, and respect for populations; 5. The fair distribution of the benefits of research into populations and the importance of infrastructure creation. These ethical principles must be taken into account at three levels of larger communities in which research is conducted (host societies), field staff and participants in the research.

Ethical Considerations: Honesty and trustworthiness were observed in reporting articles and the findings of these articles were stated without bias.

Conclusion: Research ethics, such as delivering results to the community, enable the community to actively participate in the development of community-based research.


Cite this article as: Hosseinpour-Niazi S, Mirmiran P. Ethics in Community-Based Studies. Med Ethics J 2020; 14(45): e1.


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Original/Research Article