176517 Integrating public health ethics into participatory research with vulnerable populations: Experiences from rural India

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 10:30 AM

K.S. Mohindra, PhD , Department of Health Care and Epidemiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
M. Feletto, PhD , Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
D. Narayana, PhD , Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, India
M.J. Joseph , Planet Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, India
N. Haris , Planet Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, India
S. Haddad, MD, PhD , Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
A recent editorial in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization (Coleman et al., 2007) underscored the need for greater scrutiny of ethics in public health and practice, which would go beyond traditional medical ethics – adopting a population perspective that considers the broad social determinants of health. This presentation aims to address this challenge by examining how to integrate ethics within low-income countries in general and vulnerable populations living in poor countries in particular. We examine key issues within the context of our ongoing efforts of incorporating ethics into participatory research with the Paniya tribe, an indigenous group in rural India. The presentation has three parts. First, we describe the Paniya population, including their vulnerability, needs, and social structure that shaped the particular approach to ethical conduct undertaken in the initiative. Second, we outline the processes (e.g. procedures to seek community as well as individual consent, and consultation with community representatives) and the tools (e.g. Code of Ethics) we employed to promote ethical and culturally appropriate research. Third, we discuss the key ethical challenges that have arisen with respect to both undertaking collaborative research in India and in working with the local Paniya community.

Learning Objectives:
- to grasp the need for alternative approaches to integrating ethics into global public health research - to understand the challenges of and approaches to integrating ethics in research with vulnerable populations (with a focus on indigenous populations) in low-income countries

Keywords: Research Ethics, Indigenous Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I lead a Participatory Poverty and Health Assessment (PPHA), a scale-down, localized, and adapted version of a methodology developed by the World Bank (Poverty Group, 1999) among a tribal community in rural Kerala. This study is conducted in the context of an action-research initiative on «Access to Health Care and Basic Minimum Services in Kerala, India. Phase 2: Vulnerability and Health in Wayanad, Kerala» funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada). I have been co-researcher in both Phase I and Phase II of this project, since it commenced in 2003.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: International Research Ethics
See more of: Ethics SPIG