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Palliat Med. 2003 Apr;17(3):235-40.

Bereavement research: methodological issues and ethical concerns.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Principles of conducting research in the field of bereavement are introduced. The review focuses on issues of design and methodology, and considers ethical concerns, particularly in view of the fact that bereaved people are frequently in acute grief when scientific study is conducted. Accurate assessment is fundamental, and requires methodologically stringent procedures. The merits and disadvantages of different types of investigation are considered, the often-neglected need for control groups is described, and quantitative versus qualitative methodological approaches are reviewed. Also considered are biases due to selection and limits on generalizability. Understanding of ethical matters arising in this field of research is essential for the conduct of worthwhile research, and involves methodological sophistication.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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