Desperately seeking IRB HELP!

  1. Hello all.
    I am a current MSN-Education student through Western Governors University, and I have run into a big problem!
    So this is my situation.... I am almost completed with my MSN-Education. I completed everything for my Capstone, Chapters 1-3 are approved, EVERYTHING I can do without collecting data yet is finished. I began my process of attempting to get IRB approval through my hospital in the Pacific Northwest in early October and just recently learned that the hospital requires that WGU have IRB and FWA numbers themselves, which they do not have. This is fine, as apparently WGU has never been asked for these numbers and they may apply for, and receive, them later on, but that doesn't help me now. So it was suggested that I attempt to find another facility at which to do my study. My study is just a short, anonymous, confidential surveymonkey about nurses' perceptions of substance-abuse patients and how their biases towards these patients affects their care of these patients. No identifying information is taken whatsoever other than general demographic questions (age, experience, specialty, etc), and NOOOOO patient information is involved at all. And it is open to any current RN who cares for substance abuse patients at any point (ER, ICU, PCU, med/surg, oncology, tele, etc. etc.).

    With that being said, the hospital would still not budge, so I contacted my old employer in California only to learn that THEY require that the school has IRB/FWA numbers as well! And this is two months later! So you can imagine the frustration. To make this a more personal plea, WGU WA is having their first commencement on March 16, and my term ends January 31st (around the time of deadline to apply for the commencement I'm sure). I was/am super excited to attend this commencement and bring my family from CA (I'm the first in the family to receive a masters). Not to mention I would like to avoid paying for part of another term for this unfortunate mess.

    So here's the plea... does anyone have an employer that is fairly easy-going, or liberal with these simple studies (projects)? Were you able to get a simple letter of permission from your boss after talking to them about your project? If so, I could really use your help and recommendation. A letter of permission would be easiest, naturally. I will gladly forward you the questionnaire, the IRB form that WGU requires, and anything else you need in order to assist me with this. I know that this is a lot to ask, but surely someone out here had a very smooth time getting approval and starting their study. No hospital information is given in the paper either, other than the state and maybe general location (such as Central California).

    If this is possible, please help me. I hate having to resort to this, but I am seriously running short on options AND time. I can start banging on neighboring hospital's doors, but who knows how long it will take for them to respond one way or the other. What I would need from you is contact information for your boss in order to plead my case and give them any information they need (or if you discuss it with them and they are fine with it then even better!), if they need it, and then after receiving approval I would ask that you send out an email that I already have written with the link to the survey to your nursing staff (or access to the nurses' email, but I assume a mass email from a current employee, YOU, would be simpler for everyone).

    I will be entirely in whomever can help me's debt! This will be a life-saver and mean so much to me (and would absolutely warrant appreciation on the acknowledgement page of my capstone!). Also, anyone with suggestions or input or anything, please feel free to reply.
  2. Visit ToddONelson profile page

    About ToddONelson

    Joined: Dec '11; Posts: 3
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in Float, Cardiac Telemetry, Critical Care


  3. by   Rob72
    okay, basically some folks are just stucking foopid. what you are doing is not human research, as defined by the nih, and does not require irb oversight or submission, under exemptions 2 and possibly 4(without reading your proposal). some facilities, however, will require an irb to tell them the research is not research because the facility hires profoundly stoopid, cya, people.
    exemption 2, as it pertains to [color=#606420]research involving [color=#606420]human subjects
    defined in 46.101(b) - in order for proposed research to be exempt from the requirement of continuing irb review and approval under exemption 2, researchers must propose the use of educational tests, survey or interview procedures, or observations of public behavior involving human subjects who:</span>
    cannot be identified, either directly or indirectly;
    may be identified, but would not be put at risk if information is disclosed

    exemption 4, as it pertains to [color=#606420]research involving [color=#606420]human subjects
    defined in 46.101(b) - in order for proposed research to be exempt from the requirement of continuing irb review and approval under exemption 4, investigators must propose the use of data or samples that are either :</span>
    existing and publicly available;
    existing and unidentifiable to the research team

    if hospital privacy officers could think, they wouldn't be working for hospitals. you could try asking for an interview with the legal and privacy officers of the hospital(s), and having a nicely worded letter with the above information, and copies of your questionnaires, and showing them that what you're doing does not require the endorsement.

    barring that, my suggestion would be to approach a teaching (university affiliated) hospital in your area, and see if you could submit your proposal to their irb, if they required it. the problem is that any irb is likely to charge you a fee to basically satmp a paper and say you don't need them, unless you are working with "their" hospital.

    last on the list would be calling the western irb, and seeing if you could get a po' student filing, or if they have any assosciation with the hospital(s) you're hoping to use.

    do it today & fast, as you know, time is getting short. good luck!
  4. by   ToddONelson
    Rob, thank you very much. I promptly passed this information along to the DoN at my hospital (she returns from vacation tomorrow), and I'm hoping she'll write the letter of permission that I have struggled so hard to get. The website and definitions you provided will strengthen my plea for sure. I really appreciate it!
  5. by   Rob72
    Annnnd...? Hope it worked!