Parental involvement in neonatal pain management: reflecting on the researcher-practitioner role

Nurse Res. 2012;19(4):27-30. doi: 10.7748/nr2012.


Aim: The objective of this paper is to identify and explore some of the ethical and professional issues facing the clinical researcher-practitioner and to discuss how these were addressed in one particular study.

Background: The author's experience of undertaking ethnographic research in the organisation in which she works as a nurse consultant highlighted a number of ethical and professional dilemmas. This paper discusses how some of these issues, particularly relating to informed consent, confidentiality, practice concerns and exploitation were addressed.

Data sources: Doctoral research (DMedSCi) with Sheffield University.

Discussion: This paper discusses the ethical and professional dilemmas and some of the advantages associated with the researcher-practitioner role.

Conclusion: This paper identifies and discusses the need to: Remember who the research is about and whom it should benefit. Include a wide research team. Acknowledge the researcher's responsibility towards the participants. Identify and act on problems as they arise. IMPLICATION FOR RESEARCH/PRACTICE: The need to keep the participant as the focus of the research, to involve a wide research team and to reflect constantly on the process.

MeSH terms

  • Anthropology, Cultural / ethics*
  • Anthropology, Cultural / methods
  • Beneficence
  • Clinical Nursing Research / ethics*
  • Clinical Nursing Research / methods
  • Confidentiality / ethics
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Informed Consent / ethics
  • Neonatal Nursing*
  • Pain Management / nursing
  • Professional Role*
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • United Kingdom