The Pediatric Forum |

On Misunderstanding—Reply

Diane R. Blake, MD; Brittany M. Weber, BS; Kenneth E. Fletcher, PhD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159(4):400-401. doi:10.1001/archpedi.159.4.400-b.
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We would like to express our appreciation for the patient information sheet that Drs Jumping Eagle and Stevens-Simon have shared and look forward to using it in our practice.

We respect the concern raised by Drs Jumping Eagle and Stevens-Simon regarding possible bias introduced by institutional review board (IRB)–consent constraints on research involving adolescents. We share this concern and have worked with our IRB over the past several years to liberalize their requirements for parental permission. They have agreed to grant parental permission waivers in minimal risk studies involving sexually transmitted disease testing and sexually transmitted disease surveys in settings where it is not feasible to obtain permission from any of the participants’ parents. Because this survey1 was administered to patients attending the clinic for a variety of reasons and was not limited to patients who were attending solely for services exempted from parental permission requirements under state statutes and because many of the minors are accompanied to the clinic by a parent, a parental permission waiver was viewed by our IRB as less straightforward and not justified.

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