RD252 - Annual Report on Human Research - State Fiscal Year 2013

Executive Summary:
In SFY 2013, the Department of Social Services' (DSS) human research committee, referred to as the Institutional Review Board (IRB), reviewed six (6) proposed research projects. Three studies qualified for expedited review, one study for full-board review, and two studies 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.