logoHomeAbout Uscontact usservices and fees

IPATHA Eventssummariesarchivepartners and contributorsposha referencesreferences othersearch

Informed Consent

One of the first considerations in any research using people as subjects is assurance that their rights are protected. These include safety of the procedures, informed consent, confidentiality, and freedom from pressure to participate, harassment, or penalty for not participating. These are especially important in vulnerable populations such as mentally impaired, children, prisoners, and so on.

One long-range goal of the IPATHA initiative is to develop a growing archive of results for the POSHA-S. Users are asked to provide the author with a copy of their numerical results to be added to the archive. The West Virginia University Institutional Research Board (IRB) has approved the archiving and use for research of such data, so long as it is completely anonymous, i.e., individual respondents cannot be identified, and contains no written comments that might place any respondent at risk in the future.

Beyond that, POSHA-S users are free to do what they wish with the results, but with the understanding that they should consult their own organizations or places of work to be sure that they have sought and complied with all the rules for protection of human subjects, especially if the purpose of the use is for research. These are typically called Institutional Research Boards or IRBs. If individual respondents can be identified, users must be sure that they provide signed consent to participate, and if children are to participate, their parents or guardians must do so as well. In cases where the POSHA-S is not used for research, IRB guidelines do not apply, except in cases where a copy of the data is archived at WVU.