Seeking approval for research access: the gatekeeper's role in facilitating a study of the care of the relinquishing mother


  • Rosemary Mander PhD MSc RGN SCM MTD

    1. Department of Nursing Studies, University of Edinburgh, Adam Ferguson Building, 40 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LL, Scotland
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While undertaking a study of midwives’ care of mothers relinquishing a baby for adoption, the search for permission for access provided valuable insights into the role and functioning of the‘gatekeepers', who included a range of nursing/midwifery personnel and others The benefits and positive aspects of this process are discussed The variability of the response to the request for permission for research access gives insight into the gatekeepers’ decision-making process The functioning of research ethics committees is shown to be unpredictable The gatekeepers’ comments are related to the comments made by mothers in an early stage of the study The way in which the gatekeepers utilize their own individual experience is crucial to their decisions regarding permitting research access This experience may take the form of personal experience, occupational experience or experience of research