Bruyère Research Institute

Bruyère Continuing Care Research Ethics Board

Bruyère REB Directive for Research during COVID-19 Outbreak

As you know, the COVID-19 outbreak poses an extraordinary and serious safety and public health threat to our communities, one that requires a correspondingly serious response. The Bruyère REB and the Bruyère Research Institute will continue to operate normally, as much as possible, however some changes are necessary.


Effective immediately, and until further notice, face to face research interactions with participants at any Bruyère site, or in the community, must be suspended immediately. All interactions with current or new research participants should be postponed or held virtually until further notice.


In exceptional circumstances, the decision to continue the research should be discussed with the lead researchers and the Bruyère CEO (eg., certain drug trials) if ALL of the following are met: 


  •  Halting the research poses a greater risk of harm,
  • AND the research can be safely delivered,
  • AND there is a reasonable expectation that the participant will benefit,
  • AND there is limited impact on potentially strained resources at Bruyère

This also means that research involving physical assessments, or the in-person use of equipment or devices, must be suspended, unless required for patient safety, or the likely benefit outweighs the infection risk. 


Specifically, in-person participant interactions are to be replaced with telephone or online interviews or communications, if possible, unless stopping would result in risk to the study participant.


Recruitment procedures – Enrolling NEW participants is currently ON HOLD unless recruitment and data collection can all take place virtually.


Studies that may CONTINUE during the current COVID-19 restrictions (other than the exceptions listed above) are those that can take place effectively by virtual means. Examples of studies which may continue are knowledge translation, phone surveys, observational, retrospective reviews, and some pragmatic trials (without face to face contact).


Research teams that can work off site are encouraged to do so. If required on site, you will need to access EBH, SVH or RSL through the designated staff entrance and you will be screened daily. There is currently no screening required at Annex E; however, you should review and complete the pre-screen questions prior to accessing any site. If you fail the pre-screen questions, you will not be allowed on site, and must self-isolate. To reduce impact on screening capacity at EBH, SVH or RSL, please try to avoid these sites.


Study changes in response to this Directive should be implemented immediately and reported to the Bruyère REB within five business days of implementation, as provided by the Bruyère REB Review During Publicly Declared Emergencies Policy. Principal or Lead Investigators should submit an amendment form that briefly describes changes made to comply with this policy. Revised supporting documentation (BREB, consent forms, protocol, etc.) is not required.


Any other amendments should be submitted and will be processed in the normal way.


For inquiries, please contact the REB office at: REB@bruyere.org or Kwilde@bruyere.org




About the Bruyère Research Ethics Board

The Bruyère Research Ethics Board oversees research conducted at Bruyère and the Bruyère Research Institute. Its commitment to the advancement of knowledge is specified in its Terms of Reference. The board has the authority to approve, reject, modify and terminate all research projects undertaken at Bruyère, its affiliates or any independent services/programs/centres that have an affiliation agreement with Bruyère.


Unless exempted under the research ethic board's policies and procedures and the standards of the Tri-Council Policy Statement, all research proposals involving Bruyère staff or patients must be submitted for review and approval by the Bruyère Research Ethics Board before research activities can begin.


The board is mandated by the board of directors to ensure that these research studies are in accordance with the policies, mission and values of Bruyère, the Government of Canada Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics Tri-Council Policy Statement 2, and with generally accepted ethical standards and standards of scientific research.


The Bruyère Research Ethics Board is multidisciplinary in nature and is composed of men and women who have a demonstrated interest in research ethics.




The meetings are not open to the public. Individuals wishing to convey items to the board should submit in writing to the Research Ethics Board office.

 Contact the Research Ethics Board Office

 REB@bruyere.org, 613-562-6262 Ext. 4003


Please note, the phone number above is monitored on an infrequent basis. For all communications with the Research Ethics Board Office, please use email. 


Chair of the REB:

Photo of Gordon Duval, Chair of the REB 

Gordon Duval, GDuval@bruyere.org 

 Research Ethics Coordinator:

 Photo of Kristi Wilde, Research Ethics Coordinator

Kristi Wilde, KWilde@bruyere.org  

Bruyere Continuing Care Research Ethics Board

43 Bruyère Street

Ottawa, Ontario

K1N 5C8