CONGRESS OF THE EUROPEAN COLLEGE OF VETERINARY INTERNAL MEDICINE - COMPANION ANIMALS

Ethical approval of your study

ECVIM requires each abstract author to complete an ethical statement. Abstract submission is only possible after this ethical statement is submitted.

Please choose one of the following options:

1. Official ethical approval form (signed) submitted

2. Although this study involves a prospective evaluation or invasive procedures (e.g. samples obtained by any procedure similarly or more invasive than needle insertion) or procedures not done for direct benefit of the patients, no ethical approval was obtained for the following reason(s): (please state your reasons)

3. No ethical approval was obtained because this study did not involve a prospective evaluation, did not involve laboratory animals and only involved non-invasive procedures (e.g. faecal samples, voided urine etc).

GUIDANCE NOTES
Submission of a signed official ethical approval is mandatory for any study performed on laboratory animals and for any cross-sectional or prospective study performed on client-owned animals involving invasive procedures (e.g. samples obtained by any procedure similarly or more invasive than needle insertion) or any procedure not performed for the direct benefit of the patient. 

Proof of ethical approval should be provided in the form of a copy of a formal, dated and signed approval letter from your local ethics committee. In case the approval is not in English, the ECVIM Congress committee may request a translation, if deemed necessary. 

If surplus material (i.e. from samples obtained for diagnostic purposes) was used, but you did not obtain ethical approval, please clarify this by ticking the second option, and provide a justification. In such cases, the justification must be credible i.e. the benefit of the procedure to the animal must be logical and appropriate to the case, and would be acceptable if it were explained to a layperson.

ECVIM reserves the right to reject any abstracts not meeting the above criteria, where proof of ethical review is not provided along with the abstract, or where left-over samples are used but the justification for exemption from review is not credible.

If you are planning a research study, please consider that, more likely than not, proof of ethical review will be required. Going through the process of ethical scrutiny provides assurance to the participants and to the publishers of research that ethical issues have been carefully assessed and the design and conduct of the research meets agreed standards. 

Ethical review can only be effectively carried out prior to the research being conducted. 

Ethical issues may arise from many areas such as:

•Recruitment of patients
•Data collection and protection; questionnaires
•Ownership of data or clinical material
•Any potential to cause harm or distress to an animal or owner participating in a research study
•Breaching confidentiality of the owner of an animal during the conduct of the research or its publication
•Need for informed consent
•Study designs where decision-making is determined by the study design (e.g. randomisation) rather than the attending veterinary surgeon


For additional information on ethical issues in clinical research you can consult the RCVS-BVA joint statement on ethical review for practice-based research http://www.rcvs.org.uk/publications/ethical-review-for-practice-based-research/ .