Research into Communication Patterns and Consequences for Effective Care of People with Alzheimer’s and Their Carers:Ethical considerations
AbstractThis article offers a critical account of the ethical issues arising from the conduct of a research project investigating communication with and between people who have a dementia. These issues are examined with the background knowledge that there are no legal precedents to guide ethical procedures when carrying out research with this client group. Yet, if such research were not undertaken, there would be no opportunity to empirically evaluate present communication and care, or to recommend alternatives to this care. To address this situation, this article outlines a protocol for addressing a variety of ethical considerations. Finally, a working model of ethical procedures when undertaking research with people who have a dementia is presented. It is recognized that this is a dynamic process and will change over time. However, a starting point is needed to begin the process of accounting for ethical issues when undertaking research with this vulnerable group.