Research and Clinical Trials

What Is the IRB?

Before any study is started, the people involved must develop a plan for the research. The plan and a consent form are reviewed by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). All studies conducted at Lifespan are reviewed and approved by the IRB. This board is made up of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and community members.

The IRB is responsible for ensuring the safety of people enrolled in research studies. This board reviews the study and decides if the study is being carried out in the best way to lessen risks and benefit patients. If the IRB does not approve the study, it cannot start. The study physician, or principal investigator, must come back to the IRB any time there is a change in the study and to report the progress of the study at least once per year.

The consent form is reviewed to make sure it contains complete information and to ensure that the forms are written so that they may be understood. You will receive a copy of the consent form after you have signed it so you may refer back to it as the study progresses.

You are under no obligation to participate in any research study. Your decision will not affect the care you receive at Lifespan hospitals or clinics.