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Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, philosophy and health care

Friday, June 5, 2015

Ethical issues in researching daily life

Researchers who conduct ambulatory assessment should be aware of the pitfalls that may come with new technology that captures participant data.

By Timothy J. Trull, PhD
The Monitor on Psychology
April 2015, Vol 46, No. 4
Print version: page 70

Here is an excerpt:

With this increased utility comes a parallel increase in both ethical issues and assessment challenges. They include:

Informed consent. As with all forms of assessment, it is necessary to ensure that ambulatory assessment participants are informed about the procedures or protocol of the study, the exact nature of the data to be collected, and potential risks and burdens related to the study. Several unique features of ambulatory assessment should be considered. First, especially because ambulatory assessment may involve passive data collection, it is vital to make the participant aware of all of the data that are being collected, as well as how these data might be used. It is also important to recognize that ambulatory assessment may unintentionally capture data on nonconsenting people who interact with the participant via audio recordings, videos or photos. Investigators must decide ahead of time how this should be handled. Should people be encouraged to discuss their participation in the ambulatory assessment study with others with whom they have contact? Some U.S. states may forbid the recording of third parties without their permission. Participants should be given the option to stop recording at any point and to review their data if recording has occurred in sensitive situations.

The entire article is here.