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Ethics Behav. 2010;20(1):1-9.

Exploratory Health Disparities Research: The Need to Provide a Tangible Benefit to Vulnerable Respondents.

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Case Western Reserve University.


This article examines the responsibilities of researchers who conduct exploratory research to provide a service to vulnerable respondents. The term "service" is used to denote the provision of a tangible benefit in relation to the research question that is apart from the altruistic research benefits. This article explores what this "service" could look like, who might be responsible for providing it, and the challenges associated with such a service. The article argues that not providing a tangible benefit to vulnerable research participants is inconsistent with the principle of social justice that undergirds much of the rationale for conducting health disparities research.

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