The importance of moral sensitivity when including persons with dementia in qualitative research
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Original versionHeggestad, A.K.T., Nortvedt, P. & Slettebø, Å. (2013) The importance of moral sensitivity when including persons with dementia in qualitative research. Nursing Ethics, 20(1), s. 30-40. 10.1177/0969733012455564
The aim of this article is to show the importance of moral sensitivity when including persons with dementia in research. The article presents and discusses ethical challenges encountered when a total of 15 persons with dementia from two nursing homes and seven proxies were included in a qualitative study. The examples show that the ethical challenges may be unpredictable. As researchers, you participate with the informants in their daily life and in the interviews, and it is not possible to plan all that may happen during the research. A procedural proposal to an ethical committee at the beginning of a research project based on traditional research ethical principles may serve as a guideline, but it cannot solve all the ethical problems one faces during the research process. Our main argument in this article is, therefore, that moral sensitivity is required in addition to the traditional research ethical principles throughout the whole process of observing and interviewing the respondents.