RD275 - Annual Report on Human Research - State Fiscal Year 2014

Executive Summary:
In SFY 2014, the Department of Social Services’ (DSS) human research committee, referred to as the Institutional Review Board (IRB), reviewed seven proposed research projects. Four studies qualified as exempt from IRB review. Three studies qualified for expedited review; none required a full IRB review. Two of the three studies that underwent expedited review were approved by the IRB. In addition, two ongoing studies were each approved for one-year continuations. There were no major modifications reported for ongoing studies.

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.