At the cross-roads of participatory research and biomarker discovery in autism: the need for empirical data

BMC Medical Ethics 16 (1):1-9 (2015)

BackgroundIdentifying biomarkers for autism can improve outcomes for those affected by autism. Engaging the diverse stakeholders in the research process using community-based participatory research can accelerate biomarker discovery into clinical applications. However, there are limited examples of stakeholder involvement in autism research, possibly due to conceptual and practical concerns. We evaluate the applicability of CBPR principles to biomarker discovery in autism and critically review empirical studies adopting these principles.MethodsUsing a scoping review methodology, we identified and evaluated seven studies using CBPR principles in biomarker discovery.Results and conclusionsThe limited number of studies in biomarker discovery adopting CBPR principles coupled with their methodological limitations suggests that such applications are feasible but challenging. These studies illustrate three CBPR themes: community assessment, setting global priorities, and collaboration in research design. We propose that further research using participatory principles would be useful in accelerating the pace of discovery and the development of clinically meaningful biomarkers. For this goal to be successful we advocate for increased attention to previously identified conceptual and methodological challenges to participatory approaches in health research, including improving scientific rigor and developing long-term partnerships among stakeholders
Keywords Autism  Community-based participatory research  Biological markers
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DOI 10.1186/s12910-015-0082-0
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Getting Answers From Babies About Autism.Mayada Elsabbagh & Mark H. Johnson - 2010 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14 (2):81-87.

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