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How IRBs View and Make Decisions about Social Risks

Klitzman, Robert L.

Whether and how irbs assess social risks remains unclear, with little empirical investigation. I contacted leaders of 60 IRBs, and interviewed IRB leaders from 34 (response rate = 55%) and additionally, 12 members and administrators. IRBs struggle to assess and balance social risks and benefits, and vary in whether, how, and how much to do so, and how to balance these against individual risks/benefits. Risks to a group affect individuals within it. Hence, social risks can include indirect individual risks, raising ambiguities. Dilemmas emerge: E.g., how much responsibility researchers and IRBs have for addressing broader health inequities. These data, the first to examine how IRBs make decisions about social risks, reveal how IRBs face critical challenges, dilemmas, and ambiguities.

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Also Published In

Title
Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1525/jer.2013.8.3.58

More About This Work

Academic Units
Psychiatry
Published Here
June 5, 2020