The Psychological Risk of Minimal Risk Activities: A Pre- and Posttest Study Using the Self-Assessment Manikin

Maureen Murdoch, Melissa Ruth Partin, Derek Vang, Shannon Marie Kehle-Forbes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is difficult to apply U.S. Federal Code of Regulation’s criterion for “minimal risk,” because benchmarks of minimal risk have not been quantified. Our goal was to examine the psychological risks of several day-to-day activities. Using the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM), we assessed the state valence and arousal of 432 patients and employees at a large Midwestern Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility before and after they had their blood drawn, saw their primary care physician or mental health provider, or took part in an exercise class. Exercise was associated with near-large to large salutary effects (Cohen’s d = 0.76-1.17); other effects were small or moderate in positive directions (Cohen’s d = 0.02-0.51). Our findings are a promising start toward establishing benchmarks and quantifying the psychological harms of minimal risk activities. Estimates such as these may help researchers determine whether their own research exceeds minimal risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Keywords

  • affect
  • ethics
  • iatrogenic
  • minimal risk
  • patient surveys
  • pre–post test observation
  • psychological distress
  • research participation
  • research subjects/psychology
  • trauma

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

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