Promoting nurses' and midwives' ethical responsibilities towards vulnerable people: An alignment of research and clinical practice

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John Wiley and Sons, Ltd
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AIM: To stimulate discussion and debate about the inclusion of vulnerable populations in primary research to inform practice change and improve health outcomes. BACKGROUND: Current research practices to safeguard vulnerable people from potential harms related to power imbalances may in fact limit the generation of evidence-based practice. EVALUATION: The authors draw on their experience working and researching with a recognized group of vulnerable people, incarcerated pregnant women, to provide insight into the application of ethics in both research and clinical practice. In a novel approach, the ethical principles are presented in both contexts, articulating the synergies between them. Suggestions are presented for how individuals, managers and organizations may improve research opportunities for clinical practitioners and enhance the engagement of vulnerable people to contribute to meaningful practice and policy change. KEY ISSUES: Ethical practice guidelines may limit the ability to create meaningful change for vulnerable populations, who need authentic system change to achieve good health outcomes. CONCLUSION: Inclusive research and practice are essential to ensuring a strengths-based approach to healthcare and addressing health needs of the whole population. Health systems and models of care recognizing the diverse lives and health needs of the broader population demand practical, sustainable support from clinical managers. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: Practical suggestions for clinical managers to support point of care research is provided, embedding vulnerable voices in policy, practice development and care provision.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made
case study, ethical nursing practice, research ethics, vulnerable populations, Female, Humans, Pregnancy, Midwifery, Delivery of Health Care, Nurses
Baldwin A, Capper T, Harvey C, Willis E, Ferguson B, Browning N. (2022). Promoting nurses' and midwives' ethical responsibilities towards vulnerable people: An alignment of research and clinical practice.. J Nurs Manag. 30. 7. (pp. 2442-2447).