IRB Debriefing Requirements

  • A statement should be made that participants will be debriefed orally or in writing. If the debriefing is to be oral, a "script" of what subjects will be told should be attached. If all or part of the debriefing is to be in written format, a copy of the actual debriefing statement to be given participants should be attached. Oral and written debriefings need to contain the following information:

    1. A statement thanking the subject for participating.
    2. A statement of the purpose of the study – the hypothesis/research questions being investigated and results expected.
    3. Information about when and where results will be available.
    4. Information about whom to contact should there be further questions or should the person experience undesirable consequences from participating. This should include the principal investigator and the IRB chair and may include hotlines, counseling centers and other support contacts.

    Keep in mind that the major benefit that most of our research participants get from participating in studies is the experience of being in a study. The more background information you give them about the basis for the study, the more they will learn from the experience.

    Sample Debriefing Form