VCU Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) Blog

The VCU HRPP is dedicated to facilitating ethically and scientifically sound research through robust review of research projects and through effective education and outreach to the VCU research community.

Two members of the VCU HRPP are presenting at the upcoming Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) conference, being held in Denver, CO from May 24-26, 2022!

An image of Elicia Preslan, a white woman with short dark hair and brown eyes.

Elicia Preslan, MS, CIP

Elicia will be presenting a session titled “Balancing Inclusion with Protection: Assessment of Capacity to Consent”

Session Abstract:

The strategies IRBs recommend for assessing capacity to provide consent in research studies that enroll decisionally impaired persons have not changed in many years, so are they still the best strategies? This population is routinely asked to prove their competence, so assessment instruments or comprehension questions may be perceived as offensive, another instance of not being trusted, and yet another test. This session will discuss the goals and strategies for assessing consent capacity, consider how the common assessment strategies may be perceived by persons with decisional impairment, and discuss strategies for respecting autonomy while meeting all IRB requirements.

An image of Nyssa Towsley, a white person with short brown hair, wearing red glasses.

Nyssa Towsley, MS, CIP

Nyssa will be presenting a session titled “A(n Even) New(er) Look at an Old Problem: IRB Member Recruitment and Training”

Session Abstract

It’s an ongoing challenge to find IRB members with the right balance of skills and knowledge, not to mention with time to spare. It can be even harder to provide for continuing education of IRB members in the thick of ongoing review volume.  At “Big Ideas and Ethics in the Big Easy” in the pre-pandemic days of 2019, we took a look at how the NCI Central IRBs hit these challenges head-on for their 4 CIRBs comprising 80+ IRB members and we gave some thought to what institutions of other sizes might learn from the NCI’s experience.  In the years since, the team at Virginia Commonwealth University has taken steps, based on NCI’s model, to revamp its efforts around IRB member recruitment and training with great results (including a large increase in community member representation!).  Come join us for updates on NCI’s efforts, to learn more about VCU’s successes, and walk away with practical tips to revamp your approach to IRB Member recruitment and training. 

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