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Including Prisoners in Substance Abuse Clinical Trials.

Presented at the Society for Clinical Trials annual meeting, Miami, FL, May 20-23, 2012.

Aimee N. C. Cambell, PhD (New York State Psychiatric Institute, GNY Node).

This presentation, part of a panel at the Society for Clinical Trials annual meeting in 2012 focusing on ethical, regulatory, recruitment issues in vulnerable populations, covers the basic definitions and guidelines for including participants who are considered "prisoners" in substance abuse treatment research. In order to conduct research with prisoners, there are several additional, potentially complex steps that must be undertaken with the researchers' institutional review board of record. Used as a practical example, National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network protocol CTN-0044, "Web-Delivery of Evidence-Based, Psychosocial Treatment for Substance Use Disorders," is discussed, as approximately 35% of participants at baseline were either mandated or referred for treatment by the criminal justice system (a handful even wearing monitoring bracelets). In any trial, regardless of whether you have approval to conduct research with prisoners, the study must have procedures in place to determine if a participant is indeed a prisoner. Though this can be straightfoward if the participant is in a detention facility, there are a small number of cases where participants reside in the community but are considered a prisoner under the definition of the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP). For CTN-0044, this meant the development of a screening procedure that asked a simple question about house arrest and followed-up with additional probes if necessary (for participants in this protocol, even those wearing ankle monitors were ultimately not officially considered "prisoners" because while their movements were restricted, they were allowed to come and go of their own accord to the treatment facility). The presentation provides an in-depth look at the issues surrounding research with prisoners, including the importance of including individuals who become incarcerated during a study to reduce bias. (Presentation, PowerPoint slides, English, 2012)

Keywords: Behavior therapy | Community health services | Criminal justice system | Ethics | Internet counseling | Offenders | Recruitment | Research design | Research participation | Retention - Research | Society for Clinical Trials annual meeting, 2012

Document No: 828.

Submitted by Carmen Rosa, NIDA CCTN, 6/8/2012.


Campbell, Aimee N. C. mail
NIDA-CTN-0044 www

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Supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.
The materials on this site have neither been created nor reviewed by NIDA.
Updated 6/2012 --
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