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Nurs Ethics. 2010 May;17(3):383-92. doi: 10.1177/0969733009355541.

Literature review: status and trends of research ethics in Swedish nurses' dissertations.

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  • 1Institute of Gerontology, School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden. sofia.kjellstrom@hhj.hj.se


Research ethics is increasingly formally regulated, but little is known about how ethical considerations are reported in dissertations. The aim of this literature study was to describe the status and trends of ethical considerations in Swedish doctoral dissertations written by registered nurses. A total of 77 dissertations from 1987, 1997, and 2007 met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed by descriptive statistics. Ethical considerations were mostly overlooked in 1987, but almost ubiquitous by 2007. All dissertations in 2007, except one, had a section on ethical considerations; however, these were short, lacking in references, and short on content. The most common topic was informed consent and approval from research ethics review boards, followed by confidentiality and ethical aspects of methodological issues. Our results imply that the quantity and quality of ethical considerations must be improved in order to assure ethical soundness for participants, patients, researchers, and society.

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