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Community-focused Research

by Expert Dr Josephine | 13 Apr 2017

All nurses should be researchers or informed consumers of research including the community health nurse to be able to give more benefits to the community and reduce the risk of possible harms that can affect the whole society. But first, one must learn the different approach and research goals according to the subject or focus of the research, as well as the ethical issues involved.

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What is the difference between researchers focused on a community and research focused on an individual concerning approach and research goals?

Researchers study different populations and cultures to be able to understand and respond to a particular group’s needs and strengths. The research focused upon a group of people has a lot more ethical issues to consider as you are using samples from a certain population that needs to have unbiased and general results that can present the community as a whole. Moreover, the result from a study focused on an individual cannot be used to create a generalization about the community where the individual belongs. Unlike in community-focused research, the result can be used to generalize the effects or the characteristics of the community under certain conditions.

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What are the ethical issues of community-focused research? Conducting a study in a community can bring ethical dilemmas and conflicts that can trigger the protection of both the community and the research group if cultural norms of the two groups did not match. Three main ethical issues should be considered: justice, beneficence, and autonomy (Dresden et al., 2003). By respecting and considering the culture and norms of a certain group, they can be protected against stigmatization, discrimination or any social conflicts that may arise depending on the reliable or wrongly results of the study. Community consent is very necessary; the subject of the study should be informed first about the nature of the study, understand the situation, voluntary participation, and explicit consent to conduct the research (Dresden et al., 2003). The research team should be fair and unbiased in the whole procedure of research. And last but not the least, respect every individual’s autonomy who belong in the community.

The research focused on a community is being conducted to be able to give benefits and reduce possible harms that can be found in the community. Certain ethical issues must be considered to avoid social stigmatization and discrimination that may arise from the result of the study. Researchers should never forget that every individual has the right to be protected from any possible harm that can trigger their safety and social security.

References

  • Dresden E, et al. (2003). Approaching Ethical Reasoning in Nursing Research From a Communitarian Perspective. Journal of Professional Nursing. 19:205-304 [Electronic Version]
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