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Human Subjects Review Tutorial. Why do human subjects project need to be reviewed so carefully?. On July 12, 1974, the National Research Act was signed into law, there-by creating the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research.

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why do human subjects project need to be reviewed so carefully
Why do human subjects project need to be reviewed so carefully?

On July 12, 1974, the National Research Act was signed into law, there-by creating the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research.

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The Commission was charged with identifying the basic ethical principles that should underlie the conduct of biomedical and behavioral research involving human subjects and to develop guidelines which should be followed to assure that such research is conducted in accordance with those principles.

Thus the Belmont Report was created.

what is the belmont report
What is the Belmont Report?

The Belmont Report consists of three principles, or general prescriptive judgments, that are relevant to research involving human subjects. They are stated at a level of generalization that should assist scientists, subjects, reviewers and interested citizens to understand the ethical issues inherent in research involving human subjects

what are the three basic ethical principles
What are the three basic ethical principles?

1. Respect for Person

  • Individuals should be treated as autonomous agents.
  • Persons with diminished autonomy are entitled to protection.

These include, but are not limited to pregnant women, mentally disabled persons, economically or educationally disadvantaged persons, individuals with diseases such as cancer, asthma, diabetes, cardiac disorders, psychiatric disorders, dyslexia, AIDS, etc., children/minors, and prisoners.

what are the three basic ethical principles1
What are the three basic ethical principles?

2. Beneficence

  • Do not harm.
  • Maximize possible benefits and minimize possible harms.

One should not injure one person regardless of the benefits that might come to others. It must be decided when it is justifiable to seek certain benefits despite the risks involved, and when the benefits should be forgone because of the risks.

what are the three basic ethical principles2
What are the three basic ethical principles?

3. Justice

  • The selection of research subjects needs to be scrutinized in order to determine whether some classes are being systematically selected simply because of their easy availability, their compromised position, or their manipulability, rather than for reasons directly related to the problem being studied.
  • Research should not unduly involve persons from groups unlikely to be among the beneficiaries of subsequent applications of the research.
what is an institutional review board irb
What is an Institutional Review Board (IRB)?

An IRB is a committee that must evaluate the potential physical and/or psychological risk of research involving human subjects.

All proposed human research must be reviewed and approved by an IRB BEFORE experimentation begins. This includes any surveys or questionnaires to be used in a project.

what are the irb membership requirements
What are the IRB membership requirements?

Federal regulations REQUIRE local community involvement, therefore, an IRB should be established at the school level to evaluate human research projects.

An IRB must consist of a minimum of three members:

a) A science teacher

b) A school administrator

c) Someone who is knowledgeable and capable of evaluating the physical and/or psychological risk involved in a given study: A medical doctor, physician’s assistant, registered nurse, a psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed social worker.

what are some tips for a successful irb
What are some tips for a successful IRB?
  • The Adult Sponsor, parents, Qualified Scientist and Designated Supervisor of a project MUST NOT be a member of the IRB reviewing that project.
  • Have two science teachers as members of the IRB to avoid a conflict of interest if one of them is the Adult Sponsor of a project needing review.
  • Include a medical person to review medical human subjects projects and a behavioral specialist to review psychology human subjects projects.
  • Ask for help of the state SRC or international SRC if there are questions about how to advise a student.
who has jurisdiction
Who has jurisdiction?
  • If the project includes subjects limited to where the researcher goes to school or lives, then the local (school) IRB should be reviewing a project.
  • If the researcher is working at a university or other regulated institution, then the initial approval must come from that institution’s IRB and the local IRB is responsible must ensure the research is appropriate for that age of student and that all ISEF rules are followed.
  • If the project includes subjects from places such as other schools, universities, or nursing homes, then those facilities have the right and obligation to review the project as well.
what exactly is human subject research
What exactly is human subject research?

A human subject is a living individual about whom a researcher, conducing research obtains:

(1) Data through intervention or interaction with the individual

OR

(2) Identifiable private information.

Research is a systematic investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.

quiz is it human subject research
Quiz – Is it human subject research?

A researcher is conducting a study testing the reflex capabilities of different groups of athletes.

Hit Enter to see the answer.

Yes – the researcher is collecting data through direct interaction with people. Any project where subjects participate in physical activities (physical exertion, ingestion of any substance or any medical procedure) are considered human subjects projects.

quiz is it human subject research1
Quiz – Is it human subject research?

A researcher is having people test a newly engineered device that replaces the traditional computer mouse.

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No – product testing of engineering projects are not considered human subject projects, although if a student wishes to restrict the subject population to one of the at-risk groups, it would be best to have IRB approval.

quiz is it human subject research2
Quiz – Is it human subject research?

A researcher is using a survey to collect the opinions of fellow students on different types of music.

Hit Enter to see the answer.

Yes – research that involves psychological, educational and/or opinion studies using such tools as surveys, questionnaires and tests are human subjects projects.

quiz is it human subject research3
Quiz – Is it human subject research?

A researcher conducts a study observing whether or not cars come to a complete stop at certain intersections.

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No – behavioral studies of unrestricted, public settings in which all of the following apply (1) The researcher has no interaction with the individuals being observed; (2) the researcher does not manipulate the environment is any way and (3) the researcher does not record any personally identifiable data, are not human subjects projects.

quiz is it human subject research4
Quiz – Is it human subject research?

A researcher is conducting a study in which he/she is the subject of the study.

Hit Enter to see the answer.

Yes – all studies where the researcher is the subject of the research is considered human subjects projects.

quiz is it human subject research5
Quiz – Is it human subject research?

A researcher is conducting a study on people’s responses to a person greeting them outside of a store while holding a puppy, holding a balloon and then holding nothing.

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Yes – behavioral observations that either (1) involve any interaction with the observed individual(s) or where the researcher has modified the environment, (2) that occur in a non public or restricted access setting, or (3) involve the recording of personally identifiable information are considered human subjects projects.

quiz is it human subject research6
Quiz – Is it human subject research?

A researcher is doing a statistical analysis of crime statistics in different types of cities.

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No – data/record review studies in which the data are taken from pre-existing data sets that are publicly available or published are not considered human subjects projects.

quiz is it human subject research7
Quiz – Is it human subject research?

A researcher is conducting a study on the correlation between GPA and extra-curricular activities.

Hit Enter to see the answer.

Yes – data/record review projects that include identifiable data are considered human subjects projects.

quiz is it human subject research8
Quiz – Is it human subject research?

A researcher is looking at de-identified x-rays of head injuries obtained from a doctor’s office.

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No – studies where the student receives the data in an anonymous format is not considered a human subjects project as long as the student also receives a certification from the doctor that they are in compliance with all privacy and HIPAA laws and they have been properly de-identified.

what are the risks that should be considered during the review
What are the risks that should be considered during the review?

Many kinds of possible harms and benefits need to be taken into account:

  • Psychological harm or benefit
  • Physical harm or benefit
  • Legal harm or benefit
  • Social harm or benefit
  • Economic harm or benefit

Risks and benefits of research may affect the individual subjects, the families of the individual subjects and society (or special groups of subjects in society) at large .

what criteria should an irb use in reviewing research proposals
What criteria should an IRB use in reviewing research proposals?

Risks to subjects are minimized (1) by using procedures which are consistent with sound research design and which do not unnecessarily expose subjects to risk, and (2) whenever appropriate, by using procedures already being performed on the subjects for diagnostic or treatment purposes.

what criteria should an irb use in reviewing research proposals1
What criteria should an IRB use in reviewing research proposals?

Risks to subjects are reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits, if any, to subjects, and the importance of the knowledge that may reasonably be expected to result.

what criteria should an irb use in reviewing research proposals2
What criteria should an IRB use in reviewing research proposals?

Selection of subjects is equitable. In making this assessment, the IRB should take into account the purposes of the research and the setting in which the research will be conducted and should be particularly cognizant of the special problems of research involving vulnerable populations.

what criteria should an irb use in reviewing research proposals3
What criteria should an IRB use in reviewing research proposals?

Informed consent will be sought from each prospective subject or the subject’s legally authorized representative (guardian).

what criteria should an irb use in reviewing research proposals4
What criteria should an IRB use in reviewing research proposals?

When appropriate, the research plan makes adequate provision for monitoring the data collected to ensure the safety of subjects.

what criteria should an irb use in reviewing research proposals5
What criteria should an IRB use in reviewing research proposals?

When appropriate, there are adequate provisions to protect the privacy of subjects and to maintain the confidentiality of data.

what kind of determination can the irb make of a research project
What kind of determination can the IRB make of a research project?
  • Minimal Risk where informed consent is recommended, but not required. The IRB must provide a justification for this waiver if the subjects are under 18 years of age.
  • Minimal Risk where informed consent is required.
  • More than minimal risk where informed consent and a Qualified Scientist are required.
  • Rejection of proposed research.

Whenever possible, the IRB should review the research plan with a critical eye that not only assesses risk, but also the soundness of the research and provide guidance to the student in making his/her research the best it can be.

what does no more than minimal risk mean
What does No More Than Minimal Risk mean?

No more than minimal risk exists when the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research are not greater (in and of themselves) than those ordinarily encountered in DAILY LIFE or during performance of routine physical or psychological examinations or tests.

quiz is it more than minimal risk
Quiz – Is it more than minimal risk?

A researcher is testing resting pulses before and after running four laps around a ¼ mile track using both trained and untrained runners.

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Yes – exercise other than that ordinarily encountered in daily life by a subject (in this case, the untrained runners) is more than minimal risk.

quiz is it more than minimal risk1
Quiz – Is it more than minimal risk?

A researcher is testing the affects chewing gum, eating breath mints, or using mouth wash have on the accuracy of a breathalyzer testing device.

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Yes – ingesting any substance or exposure to any potentially hazardous material is more than minimal risk.

quiz is it more than minimal risk2
Quiz – Is it more than minimal risk?

A researcher is conducting a survey of classmates that includes questions asking about divorce, depression, anxiety and suicide.

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Yes – answering questions related to person experiences such as sexual, physical or child abuse, divorce and/or psychological well being MUST be considered more than minimal risk..

quiz is it more than minimal risk3
Quiz – Is it more than minimal risk?

A researcher is testing subject’s reactions to a particularly violent video game.

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Yes – exposing subjects to stimuli or experimental conditions that could potentially result in emotional stress MUST be considered more than minimal risk.

quiz is it more than minimal risk4
Quiz – Is it more than minimal risk?

A researcher comparing different ethnicities’ fingerprint patterns.

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Yes – any activity that could potentially result in negative consequences for the subject due to invasion of privacy or breech of confidentiality should be considered more than minimal risk.

how can risks be minimized
How can risks be minimized?

Consider using adults rather than children/minors in any human subjects project being proposed.

how can risks be minimized1
How can risks be minimized?

Always allow subjects to withdraw from the research at any time.

how can risks be minimized2
How can risks be minimized?

Collect the data anonymously or develop data collection procedures that make it impossible to link any identifying information with an individual’s responses or data.

Anonymity - no way to identify participant

Confidentiality – methods and limitations in protecting the identity of participants and their data (link lists or coding schemes)

what is informed consent
What is Informed Consent?

The process of obtaining informed consent provides information to the subject about the risks and benefits associated with participating in the research study and allows the subject to make an educated decision about whether or not to participate.

what is informed consent1
What is Informed Consent?

Describe the purpose of the study as clearly as possible.

For Example:

The purpose of this study is to identify and map sulfate concentrations in water and forage samples.

what is informed consent2
What is Informed Consent?

List ALL of the research procedures in which the subject will be involved. If there are different procedures for different groups of people, then SEPARTE consent forms need to be completed for each group.

For Example:

A survey regarding sulfate toxicity in cattle will be given to those land owners who are cattle producers.

what is informed consent3
What is Informed Consent?

Include the duration of the subject’s involvement.

For Example:

The survey should only take 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

what is informed consent4
What is Informed Consent?

Describe and assess any potential risk or discomfort, and, if any, potential personal benefits that may be reasonably expected by participating in the research. If there are none, use the following statements:

No known risks.

No personal benefits to the subject.

For Example:

There are no known risks to the subjects by participating in this study – potential benefits include receiving information from the sulfate analysis done on the water and forage from their land.

what is informed consent5
What is Informed Consent?

Describe the procedures that will be used to minimize risk, to obtain informed consent and/or assent and to maintain confidentiality.

For Example:

All landowners will receive a detailed project overview, a copy of the survey, a map and a release form. All properties will be identified by a code and not by the land owner’s name. All landowners will be allowed to withdraw their participation at any time during the research.

what is informed consent6
What is Informed Consent?

If documented informed consent is not required, subjects must give their consent/assent to participate in the study. The procedure for obtaining consent/assent should be included in the research plan.

quiz is documented informed consent necessary
Quiz – Is documented informed consent necessary?

A researcher is working with a teacher to see what effects different testing strategies have on student’s scores.

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No – research involving normal educational practices does not require documented informed consent. The researcher should send a note home to parents informing them of the research that their children will be taking part of in an effort to increase test scores.

quiz is documented informed consent necessary1
Quiz – Is documented informed consent necessary?

A researcher is observing different intersections in town and documenting whether cars are coming to a complete stop. Information about the car and driver are not collected.

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No – research on behavior or characteristics of individuals where the researcher does NOT manipulate the subjects’ behavior does not require documented informed consent.

quiz is documented informed consent necessary2
Quiz – Is documented informed consent necessary?

A researcher is looking at the memory capabilities of girls and boys at different grade levels using pictures and words.

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No – surveys and questionnaires that involve perception, cognition or game theory and do not involve gathering person information, invasion of privacy or potential for emotional distress (what are the pictures and words being used?) do not require documented informed consent.

quiz is documented informed consent necessary3
Quiz – Is documented informed consent necessary?

A researcher is looking at the best angle to use when shooting free throws, using basketball team players as subjects.

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No – studies involving physical activity where the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research are not greater than those ordinarily encountered in daily life or during performance of routine physical activities do not require documented informed consent.

what if
What if . . . ?

The researcher doesn’t want the subjects to see the survey prior to completing it, but parental/guardian consent is needed?

A copy of the consent form and a sealed copy of the survey/questionnaire can be sent home to parents with instructions not to divulge the survey contents to the subjects. Always offer the subjects the opportunity to not have their survey included in the study even after they have completed it.