Monash Bioethics Review 22 (1):63-78 (2003)

Although mainstream research institutions and health care organisations are now starting to acknowledge the important contribution of qualitative research, there are still many obstacles to obtaining funding. Consequently, at all points along the continuum of obtaining funds, enrolling participants and conducting the research, qualitative researchers will benefit from being able to refer to, or reference, a body of empirical knowledge that addresses ethical issues raised by those who have responsibility for decision-making about the implementation of research proposals. This article has been written with this strategy in mind. One such ethical issue is a concern about the impact on participants of being involved in qualitative studies when they are in a vulnerable state from a distressing life experience. This article provides empirical data that describes the benefits associated with qualitative research process for parents enrolled in a longitudinal study looking at the issues associated with the diagnosis and treatment for paediatric haematological malignancies. The empirical findings affirm the significant beneficial contribution that qualitative research can make to the lives of those coping with an extremely challenging health care situation.
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DOI 10.1007/bf03351388
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