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Ethical suicide research: A survey of researchers


Lakeman, R and Fitzgerald, MA, Ethical suicide research: A survey of researchers, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 18, (1) pp. 10-17. ISSN 1445-8330 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1447-0349.2008.00569.x


Research is needed to better understand and respond effectively to people who are suicidal. Involving people who are suicidal in research poses some ethical and pragmatic problems. The ethical problems and difficulties in obtaining approval to involve people who are suicidal in research has contributed to the current paucity of research that explores the suicidal experience. To explore some of these problems, a web-based survey of suicide researchers was undertaken. Researchers identified from published reports were contacted by email and invited to participate in a web-based survey. Researchers were asked to describe any problems they encountered, how ethical problems were negotiated or resolved, and any advice received from human research ethics committees. The main problems identified were accessing the population, maintaining confidentiality, the extent of care owed by the researcher to participants, and the facilitation of support to participants. As with clinical practice, ethical research involving people who are suicidal involves a process of sensitive engagement, and careful consideration and remediation of risk.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ethical review • ethics • research ethics • suicide
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Mental health nursing
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Mental health services
UTAS Author:Fitzgerald, MA (Professor Mary Fitzgerald)
ID Code:61464
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:48
Deposited By:Nurse Education Unit
Deposited On:2010-03-03
Last Modified:2010-05-21

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