Take the quiz to test your understanding of the key concepts covered in the chapter. Try testing yourself before you read the chapter to see where your strengths and weaknesses are, then test yourself again once you’ve read the chapter to see how well you’ve understood.
1. What do the following abbreviations stand for:
NRES – National Research Ethics Service
HRA – Health Research Authority
IRAS – Integrated Research Application System
GCP – Good Clinical Practice
2. Who should provide permission for a researcher to access potential participants?
The ‘gatekeeper’ for the proposed study site, this will usually be the manager or most senior person.
3. Define anonymity in the context of research
The identity of participants is protected. Their identity may also be unknown to the researcher.
4. Define confidentiality in the context of research
Protecting participants by not divulging data or information which would identify them or cause them to be at risk of harm.
5. Suggest two strategies a researcher might adopt to protect a participant’s identity:
- Minimising the number of people who have access to participant identifiers such as names and addresses.
- Securely storing information about participants’ names and contact details.
- Using codes to replace names and locations in the data.
- Careful use of direct quotes and data extracts in presentations and publications to minimise participants and locations being recognised.
6. In order to be able to give informed consent to their participation in a study, identify six things a potential participant should be informed about.
- The purpose of the study
- Why they have been invited to take part
- What the study will involve
- Potential benefits for them
- Potential risks for them
- What will happen if something goes wrong
- Their right to withdraw from the study at any time without compromising themselves or their care
- Strategies to facilitate their anonymity and confidentiality
- Who is funding the study
- If the study is being undertaken as part of an educational qualification
- Which organisations have approved the study
7. What are the circumstances/criteria for a father to consent to his child’s participation in a research study?
- He has the mental capacity to do so
- He is married to the child’s mother or
- He is registered as the child’s father on the birth certificate (if the child was born after 1 December 2003) or
- He has acquired parental responsibility (by formal agreement with the child’s mother or by Court Order) or
- He has obtained a residence order
8. Suggest six strategies that a researcher can adopt to minimise the potential impact of power relationships between themselves and the participants.
- Involving participant representatives in the design of the study to minimise the existence of power relationships
- Not involving participants in a study who have had any prior interaction with the researcher
- Stating in the participant information leaflet that a participant can decide not to take part and that doing this will not jeopardise their on-going situation in any way
- Asking another member of the research team or a colleague to recruit participants
- Allowing participants sufficient time to decide if they want to take part in a study
- Empowering the participants by being as flexible as possible in the conduct of the study. For example, the timing and location of participant interviews
- Assuring participant anonymity
- Using qualitative approaches and data collection methods that minimise the impact of power relationships such as semi-structured interviews or focus groups
- Involving another member of the research team in data collection
- Involving participants in checking the researcher’s analysis of the data
- Being vigilant about and acting upon the presence of any power relationships during the conduct of the study. This can be facilitated by keeping a reflective diary