A study published in a supplement to the November 2009 issue of the American Journal of Public Health reported that training local leaders in research practices, especially human subjects protections, while engaging them in research improved university-community relationships, strengthened the ability of local organizations to seek additional funding through grants and conduct independent research, and diminished negative perceptions of researchers within immigrant populations.
“Our goal was to add to the existing research skills of our community partners and provide them with additional tools for independent research,” says lead author Raymond Hyatt, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.
Hyatt and his colleagues worked closely with local leaders to design an occupational health assessment for immigrant workers in Somerville, Massachusetts. The research included community partners in survey preparation and implementation, plans for data analysis, and interpretation of results. The academic and community partners trained bilingual teen educators to conduct the surveys within the immigrant population as a way to build trust and lessen cultural barriers.
Noting the unique risks to the immigrant population associated with participation in an occupational health study, including risks to undocumented individuals, risks of legal action for employees and employers who may not have proper safety procedures, and risk of alienation from peers; the researchers were careful to follow Tufts’ Institutional Review Board (IRB) procedures to protect all participants.
“At times, the rigorous university procedures around protocol review and informed consent were frustrating and even confusing to community organizations who work closely and regularly within this population,” says Hyatt.
Seeking to bridge the gap between researchers and community leaders, Hyatt and colleagues implemented a three-pronged intervention promoting education, training, and dialogue in the area of human subjects protection. The team worked with community leaders to share historical examples of experimentation on vulnerable populations and examples of how their own research had benefited from IRB policy. The academic researchers also had success in bringing a Tufts IRB administrator to meet face-to-face with community partners. The meeting promoted greater understanding of the IRB process and reinforced the shared goal of protecting participants.
“It is encouraging to see such positive results stem from our efforts to bring together university researchers, IRB administrators, and members of the community,” says Hyatt. “The community benefits as local leaders gain the skills needed to be more successful in writing grants and conducting their own research, and the university benefits as the community grows more involved and accepting of the research process.”
“We have already seen an improvement in the strength of our grant applications. Our experience with the IRB reinforces our commitment to the protection of our communities as they participate in research projects. We will use this experience to help secure more funding for local initiatives,” says Alex Pirie, head of the Somerville Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health.
Hyatt and colleagues recommend involving community partners with the IRB as early as possible to promote greater understanding and facilitate cooperation in community-based research projects. They encourage researchers to share personal experiences involving the IRB to help bring the process to life, and they suggest constant communication between community partners, researchers, and the IRB.
The study was funded by a grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at the National Institutes of Health.
Hyatt RR, Gute DM, Pirie A, Page H, Vasquez I, and Dalembert F. American Journal of Public Health. (Nov. 2009); vol. 99 (S3): S526-S531. “Transferring knowledge about human subjects protections and the role of institutional review boards in a community-based participatory research project.”About Tufts University School of Medicine
If you are a member of the media interested in learning more about this topic, or speaking with a faculty member at the Tufts University School of Medicine, the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, or another Tufts health sciences researcher, please contact Andrea Grossman at 617-636-3728 or, for this study, Lindsay Peterson at 617-636-2789.
Andrea Grossman or Lindsay Peterson may be reached via the following e-mail addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Andrea Grossman | Newswise Science News
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy