Empirical Bioethics

Empirical Bioethics

Our mission: To lead the empirical investigation of emerging ethical issues in biomedical research and health care, striving to advance effective policy and practice by gathering robust data from diverse stakeholder groups using innovative mixed-method designs.

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Identify. Study. Disseminate. Translate.

Pursuit of our mission is guided by an iterative framework in which we:

  1. IDENTIFY emerging ethical issues and underlying empirical questions;
  2. DEVELOP and conduct empirical studies to answer those questions;
  3. actively DISSEMINATE findings for immediate impact; and
  4. help relevant stakeholders TRANSLATE our research findings into more effective policies and practices.

This cycle begins again as we identify the next set of issues that arise following the introduction of new policies and practices.

Highlights

Developing a Participant-Centric Consent Process for ADAPTABLE

Dr. Laura Beskow discusses the empirical research that led to the development of a simplified consent form and comprehension assessment tool for PCORnet's Aspirin study.

Improving Informed Consent for Biobanking

Through our ongoing program of research on biobanking consent, we have conducted studies among a variety of stakeholders to develop a range of publicly available tools and resources.

Laura Beskow, PhD, MPH
Professor and Director, Program for Empirical Bioethics

"Informed consent is a major focus for us, with the goal of helping patients make good decisions about taking part in research"
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Selected Activities Fall 2015 - Fall 2016

An overview of the Program for Empirical Bioethics' recent activities provides selected examples of our:
  • Research funding
  • Presentations
  • Publications

Research Topic Areas

Check out this year's DCRI Annual Report for a feature on our work.

The Empirical Bioethics Team

Our team comprises a range of disciplinary expertise, including bioethics, health law and policy, public health, applied anthropology, psychology, and health behavior and health education.

Together, we have conducted empirical research among diverse stakeholder groups, including the general public, patients and family members, research participants, biomedical researchers, human subject protection leaders, biobanking and informatics experts, and bioethics and law scholars.

We have successfully implemented numerous qualitative and quantitative research techniques, such as cognitive interviews, in-depth interviews, focus groups, randomized surveys, structured elicitation techniques, systematic consensus development methods, and more.

Have questions? Please email program manager Zachary Lampron directly at zachary.lampron@duke.edu.

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LAURA M. BESKOW, PhD, MPH

Professor and Director, Program for Empirical Bioethics

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KATHLEEN M. BRELSFORD, PhD, MPH 

Senior Social Scientist

 

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Catherine Hammack, JD, MA

Social Scientist

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ZACHARY LAMPRON, MPH

Program Manager

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KEVIN MCKENNA, MPH

Qualitative Research Analyst

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JAMILAH DAWKINS

Research Assistant