HCRI Deputy Director Tony Redmond has recently had a letter published in British medical journal The Lancet. Co-written with colleagues from the University of Manchester School of Psychological Social Sciences, Professor Redmond highlights several issues surrounding research carried out in the current conflict zones of Syria, and in the refugee camps along the Syrian-Turkish border.
Notably, the group observedÂ that it was possible to ask displaced families questions about their psychological need without necessarily reawakening the effects of the trauma associated with their displacement through conflict. Families also explained that opportunities for discussion helped them formulate their own coping strategies, as well as allowing them to share these with others who were similarly affected.
Professor Redmond also provides a series of suggestions on the procedures of ethical review boards, including allowing rapid amendments to proposals by researchers, and the compilation and curation of a contact list of local specialists whose expertise can be used when research is presented that challenges standard norms. This allows researchers greater flexibility in reacting to the conditions of conflict zones which may affect their work, without compromising the abilities of ethical review boards to carry out their own responsibilities.