THE ETHICAL CONDUCT OF RESEARCH Chapter 4. HISTORY OF ETHICAL PROTECTIONS The Nuremberg Code The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), United.
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HISTORY OF ETHICAL PROTECTIONS The Nuremberg Code The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), United States –http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/ –Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) Do we all Abide by IRBs?
Do We All Abide by IRBs? Variations in the social work profession Routine evaluation research and evaluation activities in social work agencies.
HEART’S IN THE RIGHT PLACE BUT HEAD ISN’T The case of Margaret (p. 31-32) Ethical social work practice “versus” ethical social work research –What’s the difference?
ETHICAL PRACTICE AND ETHICAL RESEARCH Ethical Practice –National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Code of Ethics Ethical Research –Policy and Legislation –The Belmont Report
Ethical Practice NASW Code of Ethics – Core Values –Service –Social Justice –Dignity and Self Worth of the Person –Importance of Human Relationships –Integrity –Competence
Ethical Research The Belmont Report –Part A: Boundaries Between Research & Practice –Part B: Basic Ethical Principles Respect for Persons, Beneficence, Justice –Part C: Applications Informed consent, information, comprehension, voluntariness, assessment of risks and benefits, nature and scope of risks and benefits, systematic assessment of risks and benefits, selection of subjects.
EXAMPLES OF ETHICAL ISSUES Informed Consent, Privacy and Confidentiality Issues Informed Consent Issues Deception Issues
Informed Consent, Privacy, and Confidentiality Issues Example: The case of Isa (p. 41) Do no harm
Informed Consent Issues Example: U.S. Public Health Service syphilis study carried out in Tuskegee, Alabama.
Deception Issues Example: The Milgram Study (1974).
ETHICAL DECISIONS ACROSS THE RESEARCH PROCESS The Research Question The Research Design –Equipoise, or the Uncertainty Principle –Deception Debriefing Sample Selection and Recruitment Data Collection –How data are collected, who is going to collect the data, frequency and timing of data collection
The Research Question Is the research effort likely to benefit individuals (or groups) in need? Is the research effort likely to add to the professional social work knowledge base? Is the research effort likely to benefit social work students who are training to become researchers?
The Research Design Randomly assigning research participants to experimental and control groups –Equipoise, or the Uncertainty Principle: research studies that randomize their research participants to different treatment groups should be conducted only if there is a true uncertainty about which of the treatment alternatives is most likely to benefit them –Deception: Is its use necessary? If so, include debriefing procedures at the end of the study.
Sample Selection and Recruitment Is your sample representative of the target population? Is your sample diverse enough to be representative? Be certain that all procedures for recruiting participants are ethically sound.
Data Collection Ethical issues are relevant for: –How data are collected –Who is going to collect the data –The frequency and timing of data collection
THE INFORMED CONSENT PROCESS Determining Competency to Provide Consent Providing Adequate Information Anonymity and Confidentiality
Determining Competency to Provide Consent Capacity or competency to give consent Special populations (e.g., children, prisoners, adults with mental or cognitive delays)
Providing Adequate Information Researchers hold an ethical responsibility to provide information in such a way that potential research participants fully understand the study and their involvement in it. Voluntary consent.
Anonymity and Confidentiality Anonymous data – there is no way for the researchers to connect any piece of information in a study to any given study participant. Confidential data – the researchers can associate responses with names of respondents, typically through an identification number.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS International Research Computer- and Internet-based Research Guidance Students as Subjects/Students as Researchers
International Research The researcher must demonstrate that research methods are culturally sensitive and locally approved. The researcher may need to demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the country, culture, and customs before IRB approval is granted.
Computer- and Internet-based Research Guidance Internet-based research must provide the same levels of protection to human subjects as traditional modes of research Authenticate research respondents
Students as Subjects/Students as Researchers Students who participate in agency or university research are a vulnerable group Students who conduct research should have a faculty member carefully review their research proposals prior to its submission to the IRB
SUMMARY Ethical social work practice includes ethical research conduct. Mindful concern for the safety and informed protection of our potential research participants is not enough. In ethical research this concern must be partnered with knowledge of best research practices and skill in methodological implementation.