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Table 2 Characteristics of participating ethics committees and chairs

From: Variability in research ethics review of cluster randomized trials: a scenario-based survey in three countries

  Canada United States United Kingdom Total
  (N = 60) (N = 86) (N = 43) (N = 189)
Response rate 39.2% (60/153) 32.3% (86/266) 35.0% (43/123) 34.9% (189/542)
Ethics committee characteristics
Year established     
<1990 23 (42.6)a 66 (84.6) 10 (27.0) 99 (58.6)
1990 to 1999 14 (25.9) 9 (11.5) 13 (35.1) 36 (21.3)
> = 2000 17 (31.5) 3 (3.9) 14 (37.8) 34 (20.1)
# Protocols/month (Median, Q1-Q3) 5 (3 to 20) 30 (10 to 60) 8 (7 to 8) 10 (5 to 37.5)
Type of committee b     
University 18 (30.0) 49 (57.0) 8 (18.6) 75 (39.7)
Hospital/healthcare 41 (68.3) 41 (47.7) - 82 (56.2)
National Research Ethics Service - - 31 (72.1) 31 (16.0)
Other nonprofit 2 (3.33) 9 (10.5) 0 11 (5.8)
Other for-profit 5 (8.3) 2 (2.3) 0 7 (3.7)
Number of CRTs /year     
None 18 (32.7) 3 (8.1) 27 (34.6) 48 (28.2)
1 to 5 35 (63.6) 28 (75.7) 38 (48.7) 101 (59.4)
>5 2 (3.6) 6 (16.2) 13 (16.7) 21 (12.3)
Have guidelines in place for CRTs 0 3 (3.8) 0 3 (1.7)
Aware of guidelines for CRTs 1 (1.8) 3 (3.8) 4 (10.8) 8 (4.7)
Ethics Chair characteristics
Years experience as chair     
<2 9 (16.4) 12 (15.2) 9 (24.3) 30 (17.5)
2 to 5 27 (49.1) 28 (35.4) 12 (32.4) 67 (39.2)
>5 19 (34.5) 39 (49.3) 16 (43.2) 74 (43.3)
Years experience as member     
<6 26 (47.3) 24 (30.4) 13 (35.1) 63 (36.8)
6 to 10 18 (32.7) 21 (26.6) 16 (43.2) 55 (32.2)
>10 11 (20.0) 34 (43.0) 8 (21.6) 53 (31.0)
Highest degrees c     
Doctorate 24 (43.6) 36 (45.0) 17 (46.0) 77 (44.8)
Medical 23 (41.8) 43 (53.8) 13 (35.1) 79 (45.9)
Masters 16 (29.1) 10 (12.5) 11 (29.7) 37 (21.5)
Undergraduate 4 (7.3) 4 (10.8) 2 (2.5) 10 (5.8)
  1. a Table entries represent number (%) unless otherwise indicated.
  2. bA committee can be classified as more than one type.
  3. cA chair can indicate more than one degree.
  4. CRT, cluster randomized trial.