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Initiating the transfer of research capability in environmental justice within a community-based participatory research project - bringing in the IRB.

Hyatt-R; Gute-DM; Page-H; Pirie-A; Goldman-R; Desmarais-AM; Woodin-M
APHA 134th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Boston, Massachusetts, November 4-8, 2006. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 2006 Nov; :137075
Of the factors identified as defining a community-based participatory research project (CBPR), transfer of research capability to community partners is foundational. Among the first tasks of a collaboration between Tufts University and six diverse community organizations was the design of interview instruments to assess occupational health needs among immigrant workers. This needs assessment relied on the ability of our team to gain access to immigrant workers and employers in Somerville, MA. A critical issue in initiating the transfer of research capability was the protection of human subjects. Information on human subjects' abuses, protections, and the role of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is not widely held in the community. Particularly when working with a vulnerable population such as immigrant workers who may be undocumented and working for unregistered employers, the risks to participants may be significant. Surprisingly, we found that initial concerns for the acquisition of information among community partners with little prior research history (excluding our health care partners with substantial research experience) would have led to protocols with insufficient protection for human subjects. The academic researchers from Tufts University with IRB certification contributed informal human subjects training within research meetings and involved research administrators from the University. We present findings from the process research and analysis of this phase of the project and offer suggestions for involving an IRB, assessing the level of human subjects knowledge and experience among community partners, and provide examples of successful transfer of human subjects knowledge in a CBPR environmental justice project.
Sociological-factors; Health-hazards; Risk-factors; Sociological-factors; Humans; Men; Women; Adolescents; Training; Environmental-hazards; Author Keywords: Community Research; Community Capacity
Raymond Hyatt, PhD, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, 150 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02111
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APHA 134th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Boston, Massachusetts, November 4-8, 2006
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Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts