Researchers’ perceptions of ethical challenges in cluster randomized trials: a qualitative analysis

Trials Journal: January 3, 2013

Cluster randomized trials (CRTs) pose ethical challenges for investigators and ethics committees. This study describes the views and experiences of CRT researchers with respect to: (1) ethical challenges in CRTs; (2) the ethics review process for CRTs; and (3) the need for comprehensive ethics guidelines for CRTs.


Descriptive qualitative analysis of interviews conducted with a purposive sample of 20 experienced CRT researchers.


Informants expressed concern over the potential for bias that may result from requirements to obtain informed consent from research participants in CRTs. Informants suggested that the need for informed consent ought to be related to the type of intervention under study in a CRT. Read more