Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Investigator attendance at review board reviews: hindrance or help?

12.03.2008
Probably neither, Johns Hopkins study says

Inviting researchers to attend institutional review board sessions designed to approve these same investigators’ requests to conduct research involving human subjects doesn’t seem to affect the efficiency of the process one way or the other, a new study led by Johns Hopkins bioethicists suggests.

The findings are the result of one of the few studies to date that have sought to verify or challenge a fairly wide perception that inviting participation by so-called principal investigators, or PIs, could introduce more inefficiencies in what already is a lengthy and detailed process beset by scheduling problems, poor investigator-IRB relationships and administrative delays. Some researchers have suggested an opposing view: that inviting PIs can improve efficiency.

“The limited data on IRBs indicate they do not routinely invite PIs to attend convened meetings,” says Holly Taylor, assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and assistant director of empirical research at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. She and her coauthors on the review of IRB practices at The Johns Hopkins University say one national estimate found that fewer than 9 percent of IRBs require PIs to attend the meetings.

Under federal law and regulations, and to assure the safety and welfare of research volunteers, all institutions that receive federal funds to conduct human subject research require review and approval by an IRB, a group generally composed of senior scientists not involved in the research under review along with individuals who represent the lay community. Bioethicists and others familiar with human research protocols also may be involved.

Among other things, IRBs carefully consider questions such as whether the study’s science is valid and generalizable, whether its benefits outweigh risks that volunteers might encounter, and whether volunteers will be adequately informed about the study to consent to participate.

While serving as members of four IRBs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Holly A. Taylor, Nancy E. Kass and other bioethicists at theBerman Institute of Bioethics noticed that some IRBs regularly invite PIs when their research plans are discussed while other IRBs do not.

Wondering whether there was any difference in inefficiency between IRBs that did or did not invite PIs, Taylor and Kass, along with former Johns Hopkins master’s degree student Peter Currie, now a law student at Georgetown University, looked back at 125 IRB reviews conducted by four Johns Hopkins School of Medicine IRBs between March 2002 and June 2005. Two of the IRBs did not regularly invite PIs to their meetings, one did, and a fourth switched midway through the examination period from not inviting PIs to inviting them.

The team wondered, for example, whether PIs in attendance could more efficiently answer any questions that arise quickly and directly, rather than by replying to multiple calls and e-mails from different board members after a meeting takes place. So they checked the total time it took to approve the research plans, how many pieces of correspondence passed between the IRB and the PI, and how many meetings took place where a particular study was discussed.

Their analysis, published in the January-February Issue of IRB: Ethics & Human Research, showed few differences between IRBs that invited PIs to attend meetings and those that didn’t. All took an average of 65 days to approve each study’s plans, had about five pieces of correspondence pass between the IRB and the PI, and reviewed a study at an average of 1.6 meetings.

Taylor noted that in the IRB that switched from not inviting PIs to inviting them, time to approval went down from an average of 114 days when PIs weren’t present at meetings to 70 days when PIs attended. Additionally, the number of meetings where each study was discussed changed from an average of 2.4 to 1.7. The researchers aren’t sure whether the presence of the investigator was a factor in this improved efficiency, but they suggest that it could be one of many factors that led to the change.

“PIs are really busy, and some IRB members might worry that requiring PI attendance could delay scheduling. We didn’t find that was the case,” she says.

She and her colleagues plan to eventually test PI attendance at multiple research institutions prospectively by randomly assigning PIs to be present or absent at meetings. Taylor notes that finding ways to improve the efficiency of IRB approval can help researchers begin their research faster.

Christen Brownlee | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhmi.edu
http://www.bioethicsinstitute.org/
http://irb.jhmi.edu/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica

05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

Shape matters when light meets atom

05.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”

05.12.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>