Ethics & Engagement across the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programmes
Warm greetings from Vietnam.
I would like to you give you some updates about my GHBN bursary project which explores the perceptions and practices of informed consent in clinical trials in a hospital setting in Vietnam. The study is being conducted in OUCRU Vietnam and the Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City. In the study, I work with study doctors and potential participants from three different clinical trials doing research on Hepatitis C and Tuberculosis meningitis. Data collection methods include observations, surveys, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions.
After nearly five months, I received ethics approval for my study. The process of obtaining ethics approval from the local IRB was quite challenging because the IRB members did not have much experience in reviewing qualitative research protocols. Although the process of obtaining ethical approval was quite long and challenging, it gave me important understanding of the local IRB’s perceptions of qualitative research.
As I am conducting the research within three different clinical trials and each has their own way of conducting research and recruiting participants, it is a challenge for me to find a suitable pathway to work with each of them. Therefore, I am still in the phase where I get to know people in the wards, learn about my study participants and look for a friendly way for collaborating. I am trying to spend some time in the wards every day so that the healthcare staff can learn my face and be comfortable with me being around them. Engaging with the clinical trials teams and building relationships and rapport are crucial and part of our process of doing fieldwork. Until now, I have recruited seven healthcare workers and three patients into the study.
I will update again after having more interesting experiences during data collection.
Thank you and best wishes to all.
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