Ethical Challenges in Practice-Based Mental Health Services Research: Examples From Research With Children and Families

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Researchers have been encouraged to improve the practical relevance and utility of their work by conducting research based on “real-world” service settings and collaborating with other stakeholders, such as service providers and consumers. Practice-based research presents multiple ethical challenges, not well addressed in the literature. We discuss ethical challenges in three general categories, derived from our experience in practice-based research on child and family services: (a) multiple roles and potentially competing demands of research and clinical care, (b) multiple potential uses of research data, and (c) policy and fiscal challenges. Suggested directions for future work are also proposed.

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