This review clarifies the requirements for the ethical conduct of social care research that involves human participants. The review aims to provide social care researchers with information about the overarching ethical rationales for considering the ethical permissibility of their research activities, and identifies a number of specific ethical principles that social care researchers should consider in order to design their research studies in ways that stand up to detailed ethical scrutiny. The review also considers the distinctiveness of ethical issues in social care research practice, drawing on illustrative examples to consider how these issues ought to be thought through using the ethical principles identified. Finally, practical guidance is offered to how social care researchers ought to approach the process of obtaining ethical approval from a research ethics committee, providing them with tools to enable them to articulate, justify, and defend their research practice and the methodological decisions that they have made in designing specific social care research studies.
NIHR School for Social Care Research
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