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IRB BASICS: Ethics and Human Subject Protections

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1 IRB BASICS: Ethics and Human Subject Protections
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The Committees on Human Research University of Vermont & Fletcher Allen Health Care

2 IRB Function The purpose of an IRB is to review research and to ensure the rights and welfare of human subjects involved in research are adequately protected. There are two IRBs at the University of Vermont, one designated for the behavioral sciences and one for the medical sciences. These cover activities by both UVM and FAHC researchers. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3 Why Do Human Research Subjects Need Protection?
Trigger Events Ethical Milestones The Nazi Experiments Nuremberg Code 1947 Tuskegee Syphilis Study National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical & Behavioral Research 1974 * Belmont Report * Common Rule Mostly Nazi Experiments

4 The Belmont Report The principles of the Belmont Report govern all research supported by the U.S. Government. The ethical principles outlined in the report are the basis for subsequent regulations designed to ensure protection of human subjects in research. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

5 The Basic Principles of the Belmont Report
Respect for Persons Beneficence Justice __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

6 Respect for Persons Treat individuals as autonomous agents
Do not use people as a means to an end Allow people to choose for themselves Provide extra protections to those with diminished autonomy (i.e., Prisoners, Children, Cognitively Impaired, etc.)

7 Beneficence First, do no harm
The two general rules formulated from the principle of beneficence are: First, do no harm Second, maximize possible benefits and minimize risks

8 Justice Treat people fairly
Fair sharing of burdens and benefits of the research An injustice occurs when: benefits to which a person is entitled are denied without good reason, or when burdens are imposed unduly.

9 Rules Derived Respect Beneficence Justice Informed Consent Process
Respect for Privacy Beneficence Good research design Competent investigators/researchers Favorable risk-benefit analysis Justice Equitable selections of subjects

10 The Common Rule The “Common Rule” is the set of regulations which were developed to ensure compliance with the principles of the Belmont Report. The regulations fall under the Department of Health and Human Services. These regulations have been adopted by many other federal departments which regulate human research. There are many other regulations with which UVM/FAHC are required to comply, such as the Food and Drug Administration, but these are all in addition to the “Common Rule”. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

11 Protective mechanisms established by The Common Rule
Institutional assurances of compliance Review of research by an IRB Informed consent of subjects __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

12 Federalwide Assurance (FWA).
Institutional Assurance UVM and FAHC have negotiated with the Office for Human Research Protections that all of the institution’s human subject research activities, regardless of funding, will be guided by the Belmont Report, will comply with the Common Rule, and other regulations as applicable. This is referred to as a Federalwide Assurance (FWA). __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

13 IRB Review of Research Full Expedited Exempt
All research projects are categorized into one of three categories for the IRB review process. Each category is different in the level of scrutiny and submission procedures. The IRB is responsible for making the final decision of which category a research project falls under. Full Expedited Exempt Research Not Involving Human Subjects

14 Full Review One or more Committee member(s) are assigned to review the complete protocol or amendment, consent form, Investigational Drug/Device Brochure and any other protocol materials.  These Primary & Secondary Reviewers summarize the protocol or amendment to the Full Committee at a convened meeting and answer questions during the discussion. All other committee members are provided with summary information, for example the Protocol Cover Form and informed consent document.  This stresses the importance of the accuracy and details provided in these documents, since the majority of voting members only see these 2 documents!

15 Expedited Review Protocols, amendments, or continuing reviews that meet specific federal criteria qualify for an expedited review.  The complete protocol, consent form, and any other protocol materials receive review and approval by a Committee Chair. Expedited does not mean “fast” it is a federal term used for research that must meet specific criteria (DHHS 45 CFR )

16 Exempt from IRB Review Committee review is not required for certain categories of research activities that involve little or no risk to human subjects.  To determine if your research qualifies for exemption from formal committee review, complete the “Protocol Exemption Review and Determination Checklist.”  Only the IRB can make the determination of Exempt, this cannot be determined by researchers!

17 IRB Review and Determination of “Research Not Involving Human Subjects”
There is some research that involves coded private information or specimens that do not involve human subjects. When conducting research using data or specimens, the level of review by the IRB depends primarily on one factor: whether the data or specimens are identifiable to the principal investigator or key personnel. Determinations of whether research involving coded private information or biological specimens is considered to be “human subjects research” must be made by the IRB, not the investigator. 

18 Types of Review Initial Continuing Review Amendments
Safety Information or Unanticipated Problems to Subjects or Others Noncompliance

19 Criteria for IRB Approval
Risks are Minimized (Consistent with a sound research design and does not unnecessarily expose subjects to risk) Risks are Reasonable in Relation to Benefits Selection of Subjects is Equitable Informed Consent will be Sought for Each Prospective Subject Informed Consent will Be Documented Research Plan Adequately Provides for Monitoring the Data Collected to Ensure Safety of the Subjects Research Plan Adequately Protects the Privacy of Subjects and Maintains Confidentiality When some or all of the subjects are likely to be vulnerable to coercion or undue influence, additional safeguards need to be included in the protocol to protect the rights and welfare of these subjects.

20 The IRB has the authority to:
Approve Require modifications prior to approval Table __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Disapprove all research activities including proposed changes in previously approved human subject research.

21 Informed Consent Information – includes research procedure, purpose, risks, benefits, alternatives, etc. Comprehension – function of intelligence, rationality, maturity and language, presentation of information must be adapted to the subject’s capacity Voluntariness –requires conditions free of coercion and undue influence __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

22 Consent Form Required Elements
Statement that the study involves research Research is described Description of Risks Description of Benefits Disclosure of Alternatives Confidentiality If more than minimal risk, compensation and/or medical treatment Participation is voluntary Whom to Contact

23 Additional Elements of Informed Consent
Unforeseeable risks Early termination Additional costs to subjects Consequences of a subject's decision to withdraw from study participation Disclosing new findings which may impact a subject's willingness to continue participation Number of subjects involved

24 Informed Consent Process
Informed Consent is more than just the IRB-approved document Initial Ongoing

25 Initial Informed Consent
Take the time at the initial discussion with subjects so that they have a thorough understanding of what they are making a commitment towards Test subject comprehension Research versus standard of care procedures Time commitment Randomization Alternatives Potential costs Risks and Benefits Taking time upfront with potential subjects most likely will improve subject understanding and improve retention

26 Ongoing Consent Every time you have an encounter with a subject gives researchers an opportunity to continue the informed consent process Discuss new information that may impact a subject’s willingness to continue study participation (i.e., new known risks, benefits, alternatives, changes in study design, etc.) Remind subject of study goals and objectives this will improve subject compliance with the protocol and improve retention of subjects

27 Research Protections office
Information __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ IRB Review Process University of Vermont Research Protections office 213 Waterman Building 85 South Prospect Street Burlington, Vermont 05405 (802)

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