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A therapist at a free university clinic treats elementary school children with behavior problems who are referred by a social service agency. She is also a doctoral candidate who proposes using data she has and will collect about the children for a case-based research project. Which of the following statements about parental permission is correct?
- The parents of the children might feel pressure to give permission to the therapist to use their children’s data so that she will continue to provide services to their children.
- The superintendent of the school system can give permission for children to be in the study; therefore, the therapist doesn’t have to ask the parents for permission.
- The therapist creates her clients’ records; therefore, she does not need parents’ permission to use the information for research purposes.
- If it is the best interests of the community that the children participate in the study, parental permission is optional.
This question is a part of Internet-Based Research – SBE Answers
The parents of the children might feel pressure to give permission to the therapist to use their children’s data so that she will continue to provide services to their children – is a correct statement.
If a care provider is also conducting research, it’s important that they make it clear to child clients and their parents that deciding not to participate in the study or allow their records to be used will not affect future care.
Although the therapist has access to her clients’ records as a clinician, she is not allowed to use this information for research purposes without parental permission and child assent. A school authority’s permission to conduct the research does not negate the need for additional permission or assent. Lastly, although the children may be prevented from achieving an indeterminate community interest, their right to choose cannot be overridden.
Informed consent must be obtained from the parents of the children before the use of their data for research purposes, regardless of whether or not the care provider is also conducting research. If a care provider is also conducting research, it’s important that they make it clear to child clients and their parents that deciding not to participate in the study or allow their records to be used will not affect future care. The children’s assent should also be sought before their data is used for research purposes.
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