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Institutional Review Boards: Perspectives from the United States

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Author(s): Alvita Nathaniel, Ph.D., FNP-BC, FAANP

Journal: Grounded Theory Review : an International Journal
ISSN 1556-1542

Volume: 9;
Issue: 3;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: groudned theory | classic grounded theory | institutional review board | IRB

ABSTRACT
In the U.S., all research must be approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) that evaluates research protocols for the purpose of protecting human subjects. This paper includes a brief history of the development of public policy that guides institutional review boards in the U.S. and commentary on the responsibilities of a grounded theory researcher interested in applying for approval for a research study.An institutional review board (IRB) is a formally constituted committee that approves and monitors biomedical and behavioural research with the purpose of protecting the rights and welfare of research participants. An IRB performs scientific, ethical, and regulatory oversight functions. In the U.S., it is common for grounded theorists to experience frustration with the IRB protocol submission process. Facets of the application process may seem rigid, redundant, and non-applicable. Review board members may not seem to understand or appreciate qualitative methods and delays are common. In addition, a conglomeration of disparate policies and procedures coupled with a variety of types of review boards creates a system that defies description. Nevertheless, a researcher who understands public policy and the responsibilities of institutional review boards can learn to develop research applications that are quickly approved.
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