EVENT (10/16) Real-time Assessment of Suicidal Thoughts in Psychiatric Inpatients: What are the ethical considerations?

Blurred Motion, SilhouetteResearch Ethics Consortium
Real-time Assessment of Suicidal Thoughts 
in Psychiatric Inpatients:  What are the ethical considerations?

Friday, October 16th, 2015,12:30 – 2 PM
HMS Countway Library-Ballard Room
10 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA  02115 [Map]

This event is open to faculty, researchers, students and fellows at Harvard Schools and affiliated institutions.

Little is known about the nature of and triggers for suicidal thoughts–who is at risk, when and why–since much research on suicidality has been done with retrospective self-report.  Mobile technologies may provide an opportunity to learn more about this important problem.  A research study conducted in an adult inpatient psychiatry unit is designed to:

  1. examine the natural occurrence of suicidal thoughts using smart-phone based self-report assessments, and
  2. examine novel behavioral and physiological predictors of suicidal thoughts using mobile smartphone technology and wearable devices

Challenges include:

What are the issues that arise when collecting information on suicidal thoughts in research studies?

What are the privacy risks of participating in this research, and how can participants be protected?  What is done with the information collected?  How is a thorough consent process ensured?

What are some of the other issues ethical review boards should address in reviewing human subjects research using new technologies?

This and other aspects of the study will be described by Co-Principal Investigators Matthew K. Nock, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and Research Scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and Jeffrey Huffman, MD, Medical Director, Inpatient Psychiatry, MGH and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS).  Melissa Abraham, PhD, Chair of Partners Human Research Committee, Associate Psychologist, MGH, and Assistant Professor at HMS, will describe ethical concerns addressed in the review process.  Our commentator will be Paul Barreira, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Harvard Health Services.

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The Petrie-Flom Center Staff

The Petrie-Flom Center Staff

The Petrie-Flom Center staff often posts updates, announcements, and guests posts on behalf of others.

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