Research with responsibility
We know that clinical and experimental studies designed to investigate the mechanisms and/or clinical relevance of expectation effects in clinical interventions raise ethically sensitive questions. This is particularly true when placebos are administered deceptively instead of openly and therefore patients are unaware that the medication does not contain any active ingredients. Both moral ethical concerns and conditions arising from the complex study designs require very sensitive und conscious communication with study participants.
We are deeply aware of the ethical consequences of our research and work closely with local and national ethics committees to ensure that we comply with all regulations. Our three sites in Essen, Marburg and Hamburg have many years of experience of the study designs used in CRC/TRR 289 and regularly discuss ethical issues with local ethics committees. Our research group FOR 1328 also works closely with the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM), which has supported our research activities for many years.
In addition, as a recipient of German Research Foundation (DFG) funds, we have made the national standards in the DFG "Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice" an integral and mandatory component of our research at all levels of the network.