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Scand J Caring Sci. 2017 Oct 10. doi: 10.1111/scs.12535. [Epub ahead of print]

Ethical considerations when conducting joint interviews with close relatives or family: an integrative review.

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Department of Clinical Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
Department of Nursing Education and Health Sciences Research Center, University College Lillebaelt, Vejle, Denmark.
Karolinska Institutet, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Huddinge, Sweden.



Researchers are obligated to do no harm to participants of research. Conflicts in relationships can cause negative well-being; therefore, insight is needed into the particular ethical considerations that arise when conducting joint interviews with close relatives or family members simultaneously in the healthcare setting.


To collect and share knowledge related to ethical considerations conducting joint interviews.


A literature review inspired by the integrative review method was performed. Data were retrieved through a structured search in PubMed, CINAHL and the Philosopher's Index and Academic Search Premier for articles published in English from 1980 to 2016 and included 18 articles, of a possible 2153. Article content was assessed line-by-line, and ethical considerations were extracted and organized in three subgroups regarding: Planning joint interviews; Conduction joint interviews and Reporting on joint interviews Findings: Participants should be offered the best terms for a constructive, on-going relationship after the joint interview has ended. This obligates the researcher to ensure a safe environment during the joint interview and create a delicate balance between the needs of the participants, using nonconfrontational techniques that foster equal and neutral but dedicated attention to all parties, before, during and after the joint interviews.


Specific ethical considerations should be taken into account before, during and after joint interviewing. Further research is needed before a final conclusion can be drawn.


ethics; families; integrative review; joint interviews; methodology; qualitative research; relationships


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