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  • Answering Your Questions

  • Research and Human Subject Protections


    Consent is the First Step

    What is the IRB?

    For more information, please call the Lifespan
    subject advocate at
    401-444-5843.

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    Most people have questions when they are invited to take part in a research study. Commonly asked questions are:

    Who conducts these research studies?

    Almost all professional health care providers including doctors, nurses, therapists, dieticians and social workers, conduct research. The study physician, or principal investigator, has overall responsibility for the study. Other people, co-investigators, may share some of the work that needs to take place for a successful study. The study coordinator is the person who makes appointments and collects information during the study.

    Together, the study physician and study coordinator identify possible participants for the study and obtain their consent. The study staff closely follows each person enrolled in the study during the time the study is ongoing.

    What if I change my mind?

    You may change your mind at any time and drop out of a study. It will have no effect on the cost of care or the kind of care you receive. However, you may be asked to return for additional tests for safety reasons on certain studies. Please ask for more details.

    Will I receive payment for volunteering?

    Research study costs are sometimes paid for by companies or grants that reimburse volunteers for their time. Not all studies pay for participation; however, you may receive testing and medications free of charge.

    Will I personally benefit if I volunteer?

    Research is usually conducted to answer a question or to determine if one treatment is better than another. You may not directly benefit from the study while you are participating.

    Does my doctor need to know about the study?Do I need his or her approval?

    At your request, your doctor will be made aware of the study. You should feel free to discuss the study with family and friends.

    What if I don't want to be a part of a study?

    After receiving an invitation to join and listening to all the information about the study, you decide whether or not you wish to participate. You are under no obligation to participate in any study.