AJOB Empirical Bioethics | VOL. ahead-of-print
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How Do Accredited Organizations Evaluate the Quality and Effectiveness of Their Human Research Protection Programs?

Publication Date Jun 16, 2022

Abstract

Background Meaningfully evaluating the quality of institutional review boards (IRBs) and human research protection programs (HRPPs) is a long-recognized challenge. To be accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP), organizations must demonstrate that they measure and improve HRPP “quality, effectiveness, and efficiency” (QEE). We sought to learn how AAHRPP-accredited organizations interpret and satisfy this standard, in order to assess strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in current approaches and to inform recommendations for improvement. Methods We conducted 3 small-group interviews with a total of 19 participant representatives of accredited organizations at the 2019 AAHRPP annual meeting. Participants were eligible if they had familiarity with their organization’s approach to satisfying the relevant QEE standard. Results Participants reported lacking clear definitions for HRPP quality or effectiveness but described various approaches to assessing QEE, typically focused on turnaround time, compliance, and researcher satisfaction. Evaluation of IRB members was described as relatively superficial and information regarding research subject experience was not reported as central to QEE assessment, although participants described several efforts to improve consideration of patient, subject, and community perspectives in IRB review. Participants also described efforts to educate and build relationships with key stakeholders as important features of a high-quality HRPP. Whi...

Concepts

Human Research Protection Programs Institutional Review Boards Review Institutional Review Boards Deliberative Quality Relevant Standard Community Perspectives Participant Outcomes Turnaround Time Improvement Efforts Protocol Review

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