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Perspect Psychiatr Care. 2007 Oct;43(4):174-82.

The ethics of reflective research in single case study inquiry.

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University of Nottingham, School of Education Campus, Nottingham, UK.



Recent developments in policy change in the governance of research ethics in the UK are reviewed and discussed regarding how the changes in informed consent impacts on single case study research.


Changes in the ethics of health research (particularly in the UK) and informed patient consent have potentially negative implications for case study research where overregulated research guidance may impinge on patient treatment.


The psychotherapy milieu is a highly protective environment where case study research design has, historically, been effectively applied without compromising clients' interests and treatment. A distinction between "prospective" and "reflective" psychotherapy research is proposed that offers an ethical foothold, protecting patients and allowing scope for practitioners to continue to advance knowledge from their reflective practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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