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Maintaining Research Integrity: A Systematic Review of the Role of the Institutional Review Board

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Maintaining Research Integrity: A Systematic Review of the Role of the Institutional Review Board (May 2012)

Principal Investigator: Paul G. Shekelle, MD, PhD, Director Co-Investigators: Alicia Ruelaz, MD Isomi M. Miake-Lye, BA Research Associate: Jessica M. Beroes, BS Medical Editor: Sydney Newberry, PhD

Evidence-based Synthesis Program (ESP) Center, West Los Angeles VA Medical Center

Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs; May 2012

Download PDF: Complete Report, Executive Summary, Report, Appendices

Summary / Overview

Ethical integrity in the conduct of health care research is essential for maintaining the public trust and support of such activities. Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) play a critical role in maintaining the ethical integrity of research by reviewing research protocols to ensure, among other things, that research participants receive safe and ethical treatment and provide informed consent, and that the potential for a conflict of interest is minimized. The purpose of this review was to catalog the literature on issues pertaining to IRBs, to identify the issue with the greatest number of published studies which might inform VA policy, and to assess the evidence regarding that issue, which were conflict of interest policies and the activities of the IRB.

Key Question #1: What has been published regarding the IRB, and each of the following issues:
  • Quality improvement initiatives as research
  • Conflict of interest
  • Studies requiring approval of multiple IRBs
  • Genetic issues
Key Question #2: What is the actual evidence regarding the issue with the largest literature which may inform VA policy?

See also

A Systematic Review: The Role of the Institutional Review Board in Managing Conflict of Interest (VA HSR&D Management e-Brief)

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