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Information for Research Subjects

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is committed to responsible research. This is accomplished, in part, by having all research funded through DHS or that involves staff or human participants receiving services provided by DHS reviewed by the DHSIRB. Research studies cannot be started until the board issues a letter of approval. Resources and information in this page are meant to help research participants understand their rights and some of the basic requirements for ethical research. Please refer to the DHSIRB Rules for more information.

Every research participants has the following rights:

  • To be treated with respect, including respect for the decision whether or not to enroll in, continue in, or stop participating in a study
  • To choose to discontinue participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which the participant is otherwise entitled
  • To be given time to read the consent form and have the research study properly explained
  • To be given time to ask questions, and to be told whom to contact with questions
  • To be given a copy of the consent form after it has been signed along with any other relevant printed material

Questions that should be asked before agreeing to participate in a research study:

  • What is the purpose of the study?
  • What participation in the study involves?
  • What is the duration of participation?
  • What are the risks or discomforts of participating in the study?
  • What are the benefits of participation?
  • What type of personal information will be collected or accessed?
  • What will the researcher(s) do with the information?
  • What is the contact information of the researcher(s)?

Required elements of informed consent:  

  • An explanation of the purposes of the research
  • An expected duration of the participant's involvement in the research
  • A description of the procedures to be followed
  • Identification of any experimental procedure
  • A description of any reasonably foreseeable risks or discomforts to the participant
  • A description of any benefits to the participant or to others that may reasonably be expected from the research
  • Disclosure of appropriate alternative procedures or courses of treatment, if any, that may be advantageous to the participant
  • A statement describing the extent, if any, to which confidentiality of records identifying the participant is maintained
  • An explanation for research involving more than minimal risk
  • An explanation of whom to contact
  • A statement that participation is voluntary
  • Any other information the DHSIRB determines would be meaningful to include

Special requirements for research involving particularly vulnerable subjects 

  • When necessary, additional safeguards are included
  • When appropriate, ad hoc members with specific expertise are included in the DHSIRB review process
  • When appropriate, an advocate representing those subjects is appointed by the DHSIRB to be part of the review and approval processes
  • Exempt review is not applicable

Contact information for questions regarding participation rights or concerns:

Sequoyah Memorial Office Building
 2400 N. Lincoln Boulevard Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-3552
DHS.IRB.Application@OKDHS.org

Research Subject Advocate
When appropriate, children participating as subjects in research can be appointed an advocate by the DHSIRB.  This advocate is in addition to any other individual acting on behalf of the child as guardian or in loco parentis. The advocate acts in the best interests of the children for the duration of their participation in the research per 45 C.F.R. 46.409(b)

Last Modified on Dec 15, 2020
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