For health care practitioners, confidentiality means that no personal information is to be revealed except in certain situations. For researchers, however, the duty of confidentiality is less clear and involves elaboration of the form of outcome that might be expected from the study 22 , The researcher must endeavor to minimize the possibility of intrusion into the autonomy of study participants by all means. When highly sensitive issues are concerned, children and other vulnerable individuals should have access to an advocate who is present during initial phases of the study, and ideally, during data gathering sessions.
It is sometimes even necessary that the researcher clarify in writing which persons can have access to the initial data and how the data might be used 24 , Informed consent has been recognized as an integral part of ethics in research carried out in different fields.
For qualitative researchers, it is of the utmost importance to specify in advance which data will be collected and how they are to be used Clarifications need to include the following issues: Informed consent naturally requires ongoing negotiation of the terms of agreement as the study progresses Therefore, qualitative health researchers need to clarify that the research they carry out will benefit science and can contribute to the improvement of health policy 5.
The qualitative method is utilized to explain, clarify and elaborate the meanings of different aspects of the human life experience. Obviously, sometimes a conflict between the right to know defended on the basis of benefits to the society and the right of privacy advocated based on the rights of the individual may happen 27 , There are several effective strategies to protect personal information, for instance secure data storage methods, removal of identifier components, biographical details amendments and pseudonyms applicable to names of individuals, places and organizations Researchers have the responsibility of protecting all participants in a study from potentially harmful consequences that might affect them as a result of their participation.
It is getting increasingly common for research ethics committees to seek documented proof of consent in a written, signed, and ideally, witnessed form. Furthermore, in investigations of sensitive topics where written consent puts the informants at risk, audio recorded oral consent would be more appropriate Development of personal relationships with participants may be inevitable while collecting certain data.
Therefore, researchers should seriously consider the potential impact they may have on the participants and vice versa, and details of such interactions should be clearly mentioned in research proposals Overall, the role of the researcher as a stranger, b visitor, c initiator, d insider-expert or other should be well defined and explained 3.
As Brenner quoted Kvale state that, preparing an ethical protocol can cover issues in a qualitative research project from planning through reporting In qualitative research, data are collected with a focus on multifaceted interviews and narratives to produce a description of the experiences.
The researchers, therefore, play the role of a mediator between the experiences of the respondents and the community of concerned people 28 , The post-interview comment sheet could assist the researcher to note the feelings of informants, as well as interpretations and comments that occurred during the interview Data collection needs to be as overt as possible, and findings should be recorded.
Although there is no guarantee of absolute confidentiality, openly recording field notes assists participants to decide what they wish to have on the record.
In health care research, the problem may be even more exaggerated as the researcher is sometimes the health provider as well In comparison with other research methods, ethnography has singular characteristics. When a researcher aims to study the culture of certain people, living amongst them is inevitable. This method of collecting data is a subject of debate from an ethical point of view. Long presence of the researcher amongst people of a particular culture necessitates informed consent.
Participants should always be aware of the information that has been obtained and is being recorded, and consent to it. Sometimes this cannot be achieved easily and conflicts may happen, as in studies of cultural and ethnic characteristics The physical presence of the researchers within the culture requires them to be responsible for their role and potential consequences on the field.
For instance, when criminals or a group of war veterans suffering from a disease are the subject of a study, the risks involved in living amongst them should be considered. Ethnographers must be vigilant about any distractions stemming from close interactions that can be potentially harmful to participants in the long run 33 , Researchers can benefit from supervision sessions directed at learning, mentoring and skill development, all of which can foster their ability to carry out research without risking their health.
Adequate professional supervision which may be outside of the university can be of service to researchers in dealing with the potential stress associated with the study 35 — In order to gain explicit data, ethnographers need to know the role of instrument details. There are eleven steps defined in ethnography which are meant to assist researchers. These steps include participant observation, ethnographic record, descriptive observation, taxonomic analysis, selected observation, componential analysis, discovering the cultural theme, cultural inventory, and finally writing ethnography 38 , Researchers should always be aware of the precise reason for involvement in a study in order to prevent undesirable personal issues.
The probability of exposure to vicarious trauma as a result of the interviews needs to be evaluated. Interviewers should be properly scheduled to provide the researcher with sufficient recovery time and reduce the risk of emotional exhaustion, while allowing ample time for analysis of the objective and emotional aspects of the research.
It is also necessary for the researcher to be familiar with signs of extreme fatigue and be prepared to take necessary measures before too much harm is done 40 — In qualitative studies, researchers have a great responsibility and play many different roles. It is argued that qualitative research that deals with sensitive topics in depth can pose emotional and other risks to both participants and researchers. Clear protocols for dealing with distress should be in place so that both parties involved in research can use them if necessary.
It is not usually easy to predict what topics are likely to lead to distress, and researchers should therefore receive sufficient training in predicting traumatic situations. Preventive measures for researchers who carry out sensitive qualitative studies should include official arrangements for a peer support program consisting of a list of researchers who are involved, or a constellation of researcher support activities aiming at improving psychological fitness in the form of a professional confidence building module.
Other such measures include offering adequate supervision to provide opportunities for self-development and self-care, and facilitating the process of self-reflection and self-monitoring. Strategies for emotional distancing need to be considered and adopted if the research topic or participants have the potential to be emotionally challenging.
An appropriate planning should be in place before the commencement of the fieldwork, and it must be perfectly clear how the study should be conducted and what level of relationship development is necessary. Measures must also be taken so that levels of self-disclosure, objective displays of emotion during the interviews, and strategies to end the relationships are well defined and communicated.
One of the most prominent tasks of qualitative researchers is to minimize the flaws in observation and endeavor to gain truthful knowledge. Therefore, it is necessary for researchers to continuously update their investigation skills in terms of methodology and find novel techniques to better carry out studies in the field of health and sociology. As explained before, qualitative research is carried out in natural settings, which requires researchers to work in close collaboration with other members of the team and under direct supervision to discuss and resolve issues as they arise.
Therefore, development of practical strategies and communicating them to researchers can be of great benefit and assist them in conducting more perceptive qualitative studies. As a result of the extensive body of research in the field of medical sciences, patients comprise a large proportion of the public who are frequently subjects of studies. In the history of social and medical science, there have been a few research studies that seriously injured people, and many more in which their welfare was not sufficiently protected.
Nations and research associations have taken steps to prevent hurtful and intrusive research. To return to the matter of privacy, the researcher should not rely solely on the informant to identify possible intrusion, but needs to work at anticipating it in advance. Investigators should refrain from soliciting private information that is not closely related to the research question. To address these considerations, most institutions and organizations have developed an Institutional Review Board IRB.
An IRB is a panel of people who help to ensure the safety of human subjects in research and who assist in making sure that human rights are not violated. They review the research methodology in grant proposals to assure that ethical practices are being utilized. The use of an IRB also helps to protect the institution and the researchers against potential legal implications from any behavior that may be deemed unethical.
Examples of some of these issues include voluntary participation and informed consent. These principles are followed to guarantee that all human subjects are choosing to participate of their own free will and that they have been fully informed regarding the procedures of the research project and any potential risks.
Potential participants must be competent to make a decision regarding participation and must be free from any coercion. The consent may be given in a written or oral form depending on the nature of the research. Ethical standards also protect the confidentiality and anonymity of the subjects.
Researchers should not share information between participants and should have procedures in place to protect the data and names of participants.
Jaap van Harten, the Executive Publisher of Elsevier, shares insights about research and publishing ethics, data manipulation, plagiarism, publication duplication, and the consequences of scientific misconduct.
The Elsevier webpage offers a series of short videos in its Ethics Toolkit that address a variety of issues related to ethics in quantitative research. Following are two videos from that series that highlight key issues in quantitative research: To view more videos in the series, go to Elsevier Ethics Toolkit. Quantitative Research - The following link provides a discussion of the process of designing quantitative research and the steps necessary to ensure that there will be no ethical violations.
What is an IRB and its Purpose? What is the purpose of an IRB and how does a researcher know when they need to use it? Ethics in Research — The Web Center for Social Research Methods - Some of the key terminology associated with research ethics are described on this site, as well as a brief history of ethical considerations in research.
The following website discusses common codes and policies regarding ethics in research. Ethical Issues in Conducting Research — The following link is PDF that offers a comprehensive discussion of ethical issues in conducting research. Furthermore, even if an individual has been granted the right to withdraw from your research, you will need to think about how can manage this if you are observing a large group interaction e.
Whilst we are not suggesting that you cannot continue with such observation, you would need to have thought about the ways that you can separate the data provided by this individual during the observation when analysing and reporting the data. Covert observation can be viewed as ethically problematic because it is a form of deceptive practice. Not only are respondents not giving you informed consent , but you may also be keeping the observation covert because you feel that respondents would be otherwise unwilling to take part in your research.
Whilst such covert research and deceptive practices , especially where used intentionally , can be viewed as controversial, it can be argued that they have a place in research. Sometimes it is simply impossible to get informed consent from each participant, especially if you are accessing a group through a gatekeeper or are observing people on the move.
This could jeopardise the protection of data and individuals? Therefore, you will need to provide strong justifications why covert observation is necessary for the success of your dissertation, and why other, less deceptive research methods could not have been used instead. Compared with structured interviews and surveys , there is potentially greater uncertainty for research participants when taking part in informal and in-depth interviews.
There are a couple of broad reasons for this:. Informal and in-depth interviews cannot be pre-planned in the same way that structured interviews can.
Whilst it is possible to know some of the initial questions you may ask research participants at the outset of the interview, the majority of questions asked are likely to arise during the interview process as you learn more about the phenomena you are interested in. This evolutionary characteristic of informal and in-depth interviews makes it more difficult to let potential research participants know what to expect from the interview process.
However, since such interview creep is inevitable, you need to be prepared for it. Nonetheless, it should still be possible to get informed consent provided you: In the case of in-depth interviews, in particular, greater disclosure and self-expression often take place during the interview process.
Since in-depth interviews tend to be more personal in nature, you need to be able to address any ethical concerns that research participants may have.
For example, greater disclosure may require: Irrespective of the research method that you use, you will need to think about what data you will be recording, how that data is to be stored, and whether research participants know how their data will be used. This is an important part of gaining informed consent. Research strategy and research ethics Research ethics is not a one size fits all approach.
The impact of each of these components of research strategy on research ethics is discussed in turn: Research designs and research ethics Research methods and research ethics Sampling strategies and research ethics Data analysis techniques and research ethics. Research designs and research ethics Each type of research design that you can use to guide your dissertation has unique ethical challenges. The impact of each of these types of research design on research ethics is discussed in turn: Quantitative research design Compared with qualitative research designs, the more structured and well-defined characteristics of quantitative research designs allow researchers to plan much of the research process before it starts.
Qualitative research design Qualitative research designs tend to be more evolutionary in nature when compared with quantitative research designs. Mixed methods research design If you are using a mixed methods research design, you will need to take into account the ethical challenges inherent in quantitative and qualitative research designs. Research methods and research ethics The potential ethical issues raised by different research methods not only differ from one type of research method to the next e.
Each of these research methods is discussed in turn:
Ethical considerations for quantitative research will be examined in this module. Learning Objectives: Describe why adhering to ethical principles is important in research. Explain the specific ethical issues to consider in quantitative research. List the core ethical principles that should guide the researcher’s actions in quantitative research.
Ethical Considerations can be specified as one of the most important parts of the research. Dissertations may even be doomed to failure if this part is missing. According to Bryman and Bell () the following ten points represent the most important principles related to ethical considerations.
Ethical Issues in Quantitative Research Soazig Clifton Approvals previously given by NatCen or other Research Ethics Committees. But it’s important for our research to fully represent the population, including vulnerable groups Mental Capacity Act . Results: The major ethical issues in conducting research are: a) Informed consent, b) can critically change previous considerations about choices and actions.1 It is said that ethics is the branch of philosophy which deals with the dynamics of decision making.
Aug 04, · Role of researchers in qualitative studies In the case of nurses who perform qualitative research, ethical issues are raised when the nurse-patient relationship in the research area leads to some degree of therapeutic communication for the participants (9). quantitative research methods is gradually being informed by ethical considerations given to statistical ru-apsnynews.tk example from medicine is Kadane’s Bayesian Methods and Ethics in Clinical Trial Design, which presents a methodology for.