Discuss the need for institutional review boards (IRBs). How can they potentially affect or impact a study?
Institutional review boards (IRBs) are responsible for reviewing research proposals and ensuring that they meet ethical standards and federal regulations before the research is conducted. The primary purpose of an IRB is to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects who participate in research studies.
The need for IRBs arises from the potential harm that research can cause to participants if it is not conducted in an ethical manner. IRBs are designed to prevent unethical research practices, such as coercion or deception, from occurring. They are also responsible for reviewing the informed consent process to ensure that participants have all the information they need to make an informed decision about whether to participate in the research.
The impact of IRBs on a study can be significant. For example, if an IRB determines that a research study does not meet ethical standards or violates federal regulations, it may require changes to the study design or even reject the study altogether. Additionally, IRBs may require researchers to obtain additional informed consent from participants if new risks are identified during the course of the study.
However, the potential impact of IRBs on a study can also be positive. By ensuring that research is conducted in an ethical manner, IRBs can enhance the credibility of research findings and protect the rights and welfare of participants. In some cases, IRBs may also provide valuable feedback to researchers that can help them improve the quality of their research.
Overall, the need for IRBs is critical for ensuring that research is conducted in an ethical manner and that the rights and welfare of participants are protected. While IRBs can potentially impact a study by requiring changes or additional informed consent, they also play an important role in enhancing the credibility of research findings and protecting the rights of participants.