Every participant in human subject research is entitled to express their concerns due to some risks that they may entail. Across such studies, several common worries can be defined. One of those is related to the direct safety of the test subject (Zook et al., 2017). The second most often occurring concern is privacy. Some research subjects fear unknowingly participating in an unethical experiment (Zook et al., 2017). The last is withholding the study’s information or specifics (Zook et al., 2017). The most common way of addressing these concerns includes proper document registration and ensuring the legal safety of the participants. However, this method focuses on compensation in case of causing harm, not preventing it. The prevention methods include strictly following the protocol, engaging in ethical practice, and developing a precise action plan (Zook et al., 2017). Such procedures may be effective for researchers, although they do not directly guarantee the participants’ safety.
There are also several potential triggers for participants in human subject studies. The first one is related to traumatic events that can be uncomfortable or harmful to individuals. Addressing this issue requires the disclosure of the topic, questions, and related information (White, 2020). Some exercises or movements in the study can be harmful to the participants and, therefore, should be planned to inform the subjects initially (White, 2020). The last trigger is the contamination of viral disease; it should be prevented by implementing routine hygiene, usage of sterile instruments, and personal interaction limit (White, 2020). The participants’ trust in protecting their rights depends on their overall trust in the institution (Guillemin et al., 2018). Despite that, no amount of regulations and oversight can make subjects feel fully protected due to the possibility of an individual failure.
Guillemin, M., Barnard, E., Allen, A., Stewart, P., Walker, H., Rosenthal, D., & Gillam, L. (2018). Do research participants trust researchers or their institution? Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 13(3), 285-294.
White, M. G. (2020). Why human subjects research protection is important. Ochsner journal, 20(1), 16-33.
Zook, M., Barocas, S., Boyd, D., Crawford, K., Keller, E., Gangadharan, S. P.,… & Pasquale, F. (2017). Ten simple rules for responsible big data research. PLoS computational biology, 13(3).