AER17 Session C19: Situational Vulnerability

Situational Vulnerability—Considerations and Safeguards When Exploring Gender Identity, Social/Economic Challenges, and At-Risk Behavior


Sean Cahill, PhD; Director of Health Policy Research, The Fenway Institute; Affiliate Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Health Sciences; Bouve College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University
John A. Guidry, PhD; Consultant, Public Health Consulting; Lead Evaluator, Leaders in Networking and Knowledge, TRX Development Soutions; Adjunct Faculty, College of Global Public Health; New York University

There are many populations that have vulnerabilities related to their marginalized status. Thus, it is important for IRBs to understand the expertise needed to review studies with these populations and some of the special or heightened concerns related to these groups. During this session, speakers and attendees:

  • Identify vulnerabilities, beyond those addressed by federal regulations, resulting from homelessness, substance abuse, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender status, and undocumented residency
  • Examine the special considerations that should be taken into account by investigators and IRBs in designing and reviewing studies involving these populations (e.g., payment and undue influence, recruitment, maintaining contact with subjects, confidentiality)
  • Discuss the additional risks that may affect these marginalized populations (e.g., violence, discrimination, depression, suicide)