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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Ethics in Evaluating a Sociotechnical Intervention With Socially Isolated Older Adults (Jenny Waycott et al 2015)

 


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Abstract: The purpose of this article is to consider how ethical principles can inform the effective design and implementation of technology-based interventions that aim to promote the well-being of socially isolated older adults. We evaluated a new iPad application with small groups of older adults. In this article, we reflect on the ethical issues encountered at each stage of the research process. Drawing on the ethical principles of beneficence, research merit and integrity, justice, and respect, we identify key issues to consider in the future design and implementation of social isolation interventions that use new technologies. Key issues include (a) providing sufficient support to facilitate ongoing social interactions, (b) managing older adults’ expectations, (c) providing encouragement without coercion, and (d) responding to individual needs. We conclude that it is important to report on ethical challenges incurred when evaluating social isolation interventions to inform future research in this important area.

Keywords
ethics / moral perspectives; older people; participation, social; technology; vulnerable populations

Waycott J, Morgans A, Pedell S, Ozanne E, Vetere F, Kulik L and Davis H (2015) Ethics in Evaluating a Sociotechnical  Intervention With Socially Isolated Older  Adults. Qualitative Health Research. 1518-28. doi: 10.1177/1049732315570136.
Publisher: http://qhr.sagepub.com/content/25/11/1518.long



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