Psychiatric Research

  • John M. Kane
  • Lewis L. Robbins
  • Barbara Stanley


The task of the IRB in reviewing research protocols involving patients with psychiatric illness is among its most difficult responsibilities. Ethical concerns applicable to other areas of medical research—concerns about the physician-patient relationship, the effect of illness on one’s mental state, the detrimental effect of long term hospitalization on one’s sense of autonomy—all seem to become heightened in the mind of the lay public as well as many professionals when the research involves psychiatric patients. The very nature of psychiatric illness calls into question the competence of these potential subjects to give their consent. In addition, the kind of information often essential to many psychiatric research studies can be highly personal and may require special consideration in order to respect the privacy of subjects and to maintain strict confidentiality. Therefore, psychiatric research protocols may require additional scrutiny by the review board even for “no-risk” research projects.


Psychiatric Patient Consent Process Psychiatric Research Belmont Report Proxy Consent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Annas, G., Glantz, L., and Katz, B., 1977, Informed Consent to Human Experimentation: The Subject’s Dilemma, p. 162, Ballinger, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  2. Denney, M., Williamson, D., and Penn, R., 1979, Informed Consent: Emotional responses of patients, Postgrad. Med. 60:205–209.Google Scholar
  3. Eisenberg, L., 1977, The social imperatives of medical research, Science 198:1105–1110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Federal Register, 1978, Protection of human subjects, Volume 43, No. 223, p. 53950.Google Scholar
  5. Fellner, C. H., and Marchall, J. R., 1970, Kidney donors: The myth of informed consent, Am. J. Psychiat. 126:1245.Google Scholar
  6. Flesch, R., 1978, A new readability yardstick, J. Appl. Psychol. 32:221–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fry, E., 1968, A readability formula that saves time, J. Reading 11:513–516, 575-578.Google Scholar
  8. Gray, B. H., Cooke, R. A., and Tannenbaum, A. S., 1978, Research involving human subjects, Science 201:1094–1101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Grossman, L., and Summers, F., 1980, A study of the capacity of schizophrenic patients to give informed consent, Hosp. Commun. Psychiat. 31:205–207.Google Scholar
  10. Jonas, H., 1969, Philosophical reflections on experimenting with human subjects, Daedalus 98:219–247.Google Scholar
  11. Loftus, E. F., and Fries, J. F., 1979, Informed consent may be hazardous to health, Science 204:12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Merton, R. K., 1967, On Theoretical Sociology, Free Press, New York.Google Scholar
  13. Robbins, L. N., 1977, Problems in follow-up studies, Am. J. Psychiat. 134:904–907.Google Scholar
  14. Roth, L. H., Meisel, A., and Lidz, C. W., 1977, Tests of competency to consent to treatment, Am. J. Psychiat. 134:279–284.Google Scholar
  15. Roth, L., Lidz, C, Soloff, P., and Kaufman, K., 1980, Competency to consent to and refuse ECT: Some empirical data, paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatry Association, 1980.Google Scholar
  16. Stanley, B., Stanley, M., Lautin, A., Kane, J., and Schwartz, N., 1981, Preliminary findings on psychiatric patients as research participants: A population at risk? Am. J. Psychiat. 138:669–671.Google Scholar
  17. Stone, A. A., 1979, Informed consent: Special problems for psychiatry, Hosp. Commun. Psychiat. 30:321–326.Google Scholar
  18. The Belmont Report, 1978, Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research, National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, DHEW Publication No. (OS) 78-0012.Google Scholar
  19. The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, 1978, Research Involving Those Institutionalized Mentally Infirm, DHEW Publication No. (OS) 78-0006.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Kane
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lewis L. Robbins
    • 1
    • 2
  • Barbara Stanley
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryLong Island Jewish-Hillside Medical CenterNew Hyde ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryState University of New York at Stony BrookStony BrookUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryWayne State University School of Medicine, Lafayette ClinicDetroitUSA

Personalised recommendations