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HTDS Guide - Public Involvement and Scientific Review

Section Summary

  • The public commented on design and implementation issues throughout the study.
  • The HTDS Advisory Committee provided ongoing advice to CDC on the design and implementation of the study.
  • A committee of the National Academy of Sciences peer reviewed the HTDS at three points: Pilot Study, Analysis Plan and HTDS Draft Report.
  • CDC convened other independent scientists to review the HTDS Draft Report.

Reviewers and Their Roles

Throughout the study, HTDS researchers received input and suggestions from a wide variety of sources.

The Public

Individuals and public groups provided input in a variety of ways, including participation in public meetings and the HTDS Advisory Committee, and with written comments to CDC.

The research team communicated with the public throughout the study using newsletters, mailers and a toll-free number. Under a separate project funded by the Federal Government, the Hanford Health Information Network provided information about radiation health effects.

The HTDS Advisory Committee

The HTDS Advisory Committee (officially known as the Hanford Thyroid Morbidity Study Advisory Committee) was created to advise CDC on the design and implementation of the study.

The committee was chartered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Scientists, state health officials, environmental groups, Indian Nations and the public were represented in the group.

The committee met regularly from 1991 through 1999. At each meeting the public was given an opportunity to ask questions and offer their own views on the study.

National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

The NAS is one of the country's most respected scientific organizations. At three points in the study (Pilot Study, Analysis Plan and HTDS Draft Report), an NAS committee peer reviewed the study and made recommendations to the research team. The NAS committee included epidemiologists, statisticians and other scientists.

Peer review is an independent scientific evaluation that helps ensure that a study is of high quality.

Independent Scientists

In 1998, CDC convened a group of independent scientists with expertise in thyroid disease, radiation and epidemiology to review the HTDS Draft Report. Their evaluation was made available in a public report.

Other independent scientists offered critical review on the pilot study design and protocol during the early phase of the study.

The Reviewers and Their Roles

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