Ethics and research in psychiatry

Anthony S. Kessel and Francesca Silverton

in Practical Psychiatric Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780198515517
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754289 | DOI:
Ethics and research in psychiatry

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  • Psychiatry
  • Public Health and Epidemiology
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Embracing the ethical issues that arise in healthcare research is part and parcel of designing and implementing research that is based on sound moral foundations. Researchers should avoid approaching ethical considerations as a hurdle to getting the research done, and should instead think of them in the same vein as making sure the scientific methodology is correct. Similarly, research ethics committees should not be thought of as an obstacle, but as bodies whose role is to facilitate ethically acceptable research.

Most of the issues that arise in research in psychiatry are generic to other areas of healthcare research, and this chapter has outlined the moral bases of these and provided a template through which they can be approached. However, because research in psychiatry inevitably may involve vulnerable participants, it is important to recognise that special attention needs to be paid to competence and ensuring consent is informed.

The research arena in psychiatry is changing, and researchers will need to keep abreast of future developments, which can take the form of new guidelines from relevant bodies and also changes to the law.

Chapter.  6514 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Epidemiology

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