Latvala, E.; Janhonen, S.; Moring, J.
January 1998
Nursing Ethics;Jan1998, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p27
Academic Journal
This article describes the ethical dilemmas encountered by the authors while conducting qualitative research with psychiatric patients as participants. The ethical conflicts are explored in terms of the principles of personal autonomy, voluntariness and awareness of the purpose of the study, with illustrations from the authors’ research experience. This study addresses the everyday life of psychiatric nursing in a psychiatric hospital as described by patients, nurses and nursing students. The data were collected in a university hospital in northern Finland, using videotaped observations and recorded interviews. Although no definitive resolutions are proposed to the conflicts, the article endeavours to enhance awareness of the ethically perplexing situations possibly encountered by researchers during a study process. The institution where the study was conducted has a Research Board entitled to resolve ethical questions. The Ethics Review Committee of the Medical Faculty at the University and the Research Board of the University Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry reviewed and accepted this research plan. They also recommended solutions to some specific ethical problems that occurred in the course of the study. Moreover, some ethical dilemmas required further study and debate during the process.


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