Investigating Perceived Institutional Review Board Quality and Function Using the IRB Researcher Assessment Tool
Reeser, Jonathan C.
Austin, Diane M.
Jaros, Linda M.
Mukesh, Bickol N.
McCarty, Catherine A.
Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics 2008 March; 3(1): 25-34
THE INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD-RESEARCHER ASSESSMENT TOOL (IRB-RAT) was designed to assess the relative importance of various factors to the effective functioning of IRBs. We employed the IRB-RAT to gain insight into the ways in which our IRB is perceived to be deficient by those who routinely interact with our Office of Research Integrity and Protections. Respondents ranked qualities thought to be characteristic of an "ideal" IRB and then compared our IRB to that internal standard. We observed that the rate of study participation varied by role. The composite relative ranking of the 45 items that comprise the IRB-RAT differed significantly from the rank order reported by Keith-Spiegel et al. Our data furthermore suggest that role influences scoring of the IRB-RAT (e.g., investigators awarded our IRB significantly higher scores in several areas than did research coordinators). Additional research is warranted to determine if the observed role-dependent differences in the perceived quality of our IRB simply reflect the local research culture or if they are indicative of a more fundamental and generalizable difference in outlook between investigators and research coordinators.
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