Ethics in Mental Health Research

Ethics in Mental Health Research : Principles, guidance, and cases

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Research holds a key to preventing and effectively treating mental disorders, including ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, and substance abuse. Yet even as research holds out promise, mental health researchers face numerous ethical challenges. Responsible for ensuring participants are able and willing to grant consent, researchers must also constantly protect privacy and confidentiality. But for so many situations, the appropriate decisions are not so clear. An individual with cognitive deficits may have difficulty understanding a research study and granting informed consent, but nevertheless wants to participate. Many studies gather private information about medical records or illegal behaviour that could lead to emotional, social, or legal harm if shared, yet state laws and institutional review boards may require researchers to breach confidentiality in specific situations. Moreover, mental health consumers and other vulnerable research participants are frequently familiar with historical cases of abuse of human subjects, and may be mistrustful of researchers or fear exploitation.
At the same time, researchers are often frustrated when they feel that advocates or institutional review boards erect barriers to research, even while failing to enhance the ethical treatment of participants. Ethical research is rarely simply about avoiding bad activities, and more frequently about how to pursue good research when multiple values and commitments conflict. Ethics in Mental Health Research explores how ethical issues arise in mental health research, and offers guidance to researchers who seek to comply with regulations while conducting research that is at once ethical and scientifically credible. Case studies used throughout illustrate a variety of situations and effective problem-solving strategies. This book is essential reading for mental health researchers, IRB members, and research advocates.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 157.48 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 430.91g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0195179935
  • 9780195179934
  • 1,542,421

Table of contents

Introduction: Why Focus on Mental Health Research? ; 1. Ethics and Regulatory Compliance: Competing or Complementary Approaches? ; 2. An Ethical Framework for Research ; 3. Solving Ethical Problems: Analyzing Ethics Cases and Justifying Decisions Case Study: Willowbrook Revisited ; 4. Informed Consent Case Study: Withholding information on study purpose ; 5. Decision-Making Capacity and the Involvement of Surrogates Case Study: Questionable capacity Case Study: Waiving parental permission ; 6. Thinking about Harms and Benefits Case Study: A study of suicidality with at-risk teens ; 7. Justice in Recruitment and Research Case Study: Reimbursing participants for their time in a psychotherapy trial Case Study: Biological studies of aggressive behavior in preteens ; 8. Research Questions and Study Design Case Study: The ethics of placebo controls ; 9. Protecting Privacy and Confidentiality Case Study: Confidentiality and mandatory reporting ; 10. Identifying and Managing Conflicts of Interest Case Study: Multiple illustrative vignettes
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Review quote

This outstanding book on mental health research ethics certainly will become obligatory reading for anyone contemplating research on mental illness as well as anyone responsible for the ethical and regulatory review of such research. * Doody's Notes * This compendium of resources is a landmark contribution to the mental health field. * Joseph G. Ponterotto, PsycCritiques, Vol 53, Release 40 *
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About James M. DuBois

James DuBois is the Hubert Mader Endowed Chair and Department Chair in Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University. He has served on several National Institute of Health scientific review groups, a National Institute of Drug Abuse data safety monitoring board, an Institute of Medicine committee on organ donation, and local institutional review boards (IRBs). His work has received significant financial support from the National Institutes of
Health and the US Office of Research Integrity.
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