The Appraisal of Quantitative and Qualitative Trauma-Focused Research Procedures Among Pregnant Participants
Schwerdtfeger, Kami L.
Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics 2009 December; 4(4): 39-51
Despite the importance of studying the dynamics and consequences of trauma, there has been concern that trauma-focused questionnaires and interviews could further harm vulnerable participants, such as pregnant women who have suffered prior sexual trauma (e.g., rape, incest, sexual abuse). There has also been concern that employing personal interviews, rather than anonymous written questionnaires in trauma-focused research procedures may compromise participants' confidentiality. This exploratory study examined the methodological differences associated with perceived discomforts and benefits among pregnant women participants in a two-phase, trauma-focused research study. In Phase I, pregnant women (N = 109) completed anonymous, trauma-related questionnaires. In Phase II, a subsample of Phase I participants (N = 10) who reported a previous history of sexual trauma completed in-depth, personal interviews. Participants in both phases of the study rated their reaction to research participation using the Response to Research Participation Questionnaire Revised (RRPQ-R). Results suggest that both written survey and personal interview methods are well tolerated by pregnant women. Specific findings indicated that pregnant women with a sexual trauma history reported significantly higher "personal benefit" from participating in personal interview procedures compared to written questionnaires. Recommendations for conducting trauma-focused research with potentially high-risk or vulnerable populations are provided. In addition, recommendations for future research are outlined in an effort to further extend the ethical understanding of the benefits and costs of trauma-focused research.
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Schwerdtfeger, Kami L.; Nelson Goff, Briana S. (2008-03)RECENT EMPHASIS ON THE ETHICAL CONDUCT of researchers has resulted in a growing body of literature exploring the impact of trauma-focused research on participants. To date, pregnant women have not been widely included in ...