New York, NY, USA 11-09-2023 Pedestrians and flower delivery man on busy Chinatown street with flying horse street decoration and lanterns. with pedestrians shops urban scene. Editorial use only.

Ethics & Human Research

Single IRB Review and Local Context Considerations: A Scoping Review

ABSTRACT A leading concern about single IRB (sIRB) review for multisite studies, as is now required by federal policies, is whether and how sIRBs consider local context in their review. While several types of local context considerations have been proposed, there is no shared agreement among those charged with the ethics oversight of human subjects research as to the goals and content of local context review, nor the types of research studies for which sIRB review might be inappropriate. Through a scoping review of published scholarship, public comments, and federal guidance documents, we identified five assumed goals for local context review: protecting the rights and welfare of local participants; ensuring compliance with applicable laws and policies; assessing feasibility; promoting the quality of research; and promoting procedural justice. While a variety of content was proposed to be relevant, it was largely grouped into four domains: population/participant-level characteristics; investigator and research team characteristics; institution-level characteristics; and state and local laws. Proposed characteristics for exclusion from sIRB requirements reflected both protection- and efficiency-based concerns. These findings can inform ongoing efforts to assess the implications of policies mandating sIRB review, and when exceptions to those policies might be appropriate.

Read the Article