Medical Research Unit
The Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Makassed General Hospital (MGH) is the committee officially appointed to review the research activities conducted at the hospital in order to ensure the safety and welfare of all human subjects participating in the research. The IRB follows the three ethical principles on which standards of ethical conduct in research are based: beneficence, respect for human dignity and justice.
Background and objectives
The IRB at MGH was founded in the year 2000. The committee has an educational and advisory nature. It performs its functions according to written operation procedures. The primary mission of the IRB is to review research proposals using an evaluation process that ensures the reliability of the research design and methodology, in addition to the safety and privacy of the participating subjects. The principles that guide the tasks of the IRB are based on “Good Clinical Practice”, “The Declaration of Helsinki” and “The Belmont Report”.
The IRB is committed to encourage research and to facilitate all requirements of research projects and clinical trials. Moreover, research is a vital component of the residency curriculum since residents are required to submit a research project before their graduation. A Research Day is held every year during which residents present their research projects before a pre-assigned jury representing various universities medical schools in Lebanon. Awards are granted to top three projects.
The IRB works on providing basic requirements to facilitate research. A sizeable portion of teaching fund is allocated to research activities. Also, MGH provides an infra structure for research activities such as provision of online scanned medical records. It also provides access to its medical library which permits physicians, nurses and administrative personnel to utilize its print and electronic collections in order to obtain the information they need to conduct scientific research. Being affiliated with the American University of
Beirut, our residents have access to its library which allows them to review relevant medical literature. In addition, MGH residency training program encourages medical staff to supervise and advise residents in their research projects and to allow access to their patients’ records for research purposes. The IRB organizes educational workshops to introduce the principles of clinical research and to give staff and house staff the tools they need to conduct better research as well as to train them to critically utilize the principles of statistical analysis.
Besides, the IRB encourages principal investigators to publish their research manuscripts. More than 100 papers have been published in different clinical domains since the year 2000 (Appendix 1, p: 14). As journals are requesting that clinical trials involving human participants be registered in a clinical trial registry prior to patient enrollment, the IRB at MGH had created an account in http://www.clinicaltrials.gov (the most frequently used registry in the United States) to enable researchers to register their clinical trials.
The primary mission of the IRB is to review research proposals using an evaluation process that ensures the reliability of the research design and methodology in addition to the safety of the participating subjects. The principles that guide the tasks of the IRB are based on “Good Clinical Practice”, “The Declaration of Helsinki” and “The Belmont Report”.