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Hall DE, Hanusa BH, Ling BS, Stone RA, Switzer GE, Fine MJ, Arnold RM. Using the IRB Researcher Assessment Tool to Guide Quality Improvement. Journal of empirical research on human research ethics : JERHRE. 2015 Dec 1; 10(5):460-9.
Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) are intended to protect those who participate in research. However, because there is no established measure of IRB quality, it is unclear whether these committees achieve their goal. The IRB Researcher Assessment Tool is a previously validated, internally normed, proxy measure of IRB quality that assesses 45 distinct IRB activities and functions. We administered this instrument to a sample of investigators and IRB members at a large urban VA Medical Center. We describe a systematic approach to analyze and interpret survey responses that can identify the IRB activities and functions most in need of quality improvement. The proposed approach to empirical data analysis and presentation could inform local initiatives to improve the quality of IRB review.