Ethical challenges of researchers in qualitative studies: the necessity to develop a specific guideline


Considering the nature of qualitative studies, the interaction between researchers and participants can be ethically challenging for the former, as they are personally involved in different stages of the study. Therefore, formulation of specific ethical guidelines in this respect seems to be essential. The present paper aimed to discuss the necessity to develop explicit guidelines for conducting qualitative studies with regard to the researchers' role. For this purpose, a literature review was carried out in domestic and international databases by related keywords. Health care providers who carry out qualitative research have an immense responsibility. As there is no statistical analysis in qualitative studies, the researcher has to both evaluate what he or she observes and to interpret it. Providing researchers with the necessary skills and applying stringent supervision can lead to better extraction of reliable information from qualitative studies. This article presents a debate in order to illustrate how researchers could cover the ethical challenges of qualitative studies and provide applicable and trustworthy outcomes. Researchers face ethical challenges in all stages of the study, from designing to reporting. These include anonymity, confidentiality, informed consent, researchers' potential impact on the participants and vice versa. It seems of paramount importance that health care providers, educators and clinicians be well informed of all the different aspects of their roles when acting as qualitative researchers. Hence, these adroit roles need to be well defined, and the use of practical guidelines and protocols in all stages of qualitative studies should be encouraged.

IssueVol 7 (2014) QRcode
ethical challenges guideline qualitative research researcher’s role

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Sanjari M, Bahramnezhad F, Fomani FK, Shoghi M, Cheraghi MA. Ethical challenges of researchers in qualitative studies: the necessity to develop a specific guideline. J Med Ethics Hist Med. 2015;7(1):14.