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First published online November 19, 2012

The importance of moral sensitivity when including persons with dementia in qualitative research

Abstract

The aim of this article is to show the importance of moral sensitivity when including persons with dementia in research. The article presents and discusses ethical challenges encountered when a total of 15 persons with dementia from two nursing homes and seven proxies were included in a qualitative study. The examples show that the ethical challenges may be unpredictable. As researchers, you participate with the informants in their daily life and in the interviews, and it is not possible to plan all that may happen during the research. A procedural proposal to an ethical committee at the beginning of a research project based on traditional research ethical principles may serve as a guideline, but it cannot solve all the ethical problems one faces during the research process. Our main argument in this article is, therefore, that moral sensitivity is required in addition to the traditional research ethical principles throughout the whole process of observing and interviewing the respondents.

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References

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Published In

Article first published online: November 19, 2012
Issue published: February 2013

Keywords

  1. Dementia research
  2. ethical principles
  3. moral sensitivity
  4. qualitative research
  5. research ethics

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© The Author(s) 2012.
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History

Published online: November 19, 2012
Issue published: February 2013
PubMed: 23166145

Authors

Affiliations

Anne Kari T Heggestad
Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway; University of Oslo, Norway
Per Nortvedt
University of Oslo, Norway; Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway
Åshild Slettebø
University of Agder, Norway; Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway

Notes

Anne Kari T Heggestad, Department of Nursing, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Postboks 4 St. Olavs Plass, 0130 Oslo, Norway. Email: [email protected]

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