RD255 - Annual Report on Human Research - State Fiscal Year 2012

Executive Summary:
In SFY 2012, the Department of Social Services' (DSS) human research committee, referred to as the Institutional Review Board (IRB), reviewed two (2) proposed research projects. One study qualified for expedited review, and one qualified as exempt from review. In addition, two ongoing studies were each approved for one-year continuations.

Research involving DSS clients generally involves no risk of physical harm because it is not clinical research but observational studies of human behavior. The potential risk for DSS studies most often involves issues of client privacy and, to a lesser extent, psychological harm (for example, from surveys that include sensitive questions). The IRB has a responsibility to protect client privacy and, more generally, to minimize the risks of research activities to DSS clients.