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Participant observation raises particular ethical issues in the health care context, especially in terms of ensuring informed consent. Lucy Moore and Jan Savage outline the specific dilemmas raised by participant observation in one practice setting and the difficulties experienced in complying with a predetermined process designed for gaining fully informed consent. Their experience suggests that, instead of fully formulating this process in advance of fieldwork, researchers need to be able to respond to the circumstances they find in the field.

Original publication




Journal article


Nurse Res

Publication Date





58 - 69


Ethics Committees, Ethics, Nursing, Humans, Informed Consent, Nursing Methodology Research