Some ethical implications of qualitative research


  • Mary Carol Ramos

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    • University of Virginia, School of Nursing, McLeod Hall, Charlottesville, VA 22903
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    • Mary Carol Ramos, MS, MSN, RN, is a doctoral student at the University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville, Virginia.


Traditional values in nursing dictate a high level of concern for the welfare of research participants. Initial attempts at setting minimal ethical standards stemmed from the quantitative approaches. As qualitative modalities are more widely used, nurses must become acutely aware of possible problems in study design and planning, the dangers of coercion and deception, threats to confidentiality and trust, implications of the emergent design, and providing for a new concept of informed consent. The new character of the research relationship is examined in light of possible strategies for protection of research participants while preserving the integrity of qualitative investigation.