Managing confidentiality in illicit drugs research: ethical and legal lessons from studies in remote Aboriginal communities

Clough, A., and Conigrave, K. (2008) Managing confidentiality in illicit drugs research: ethical and legal lessons from studies in remote Aboriginal communities. Internal Medicine Journal, 38 (1). pp. 60-63.

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Abstract

Assuring participant confidentiality in illicit drugs research has raised legal questions and challenges both for researchers and ethics committees. There are similar challenges for clinicians. To study cannabis use in Aboriginal people in Arnhem Land (Northern Territory), a risk-management approach was successful. Aboriginal participants were informed in their own language that confidentiality could not be assured if they disclosed information about illegal behaviours. Researchers avoided questions of intrinsic interest to law enforcement. Relationships between researchers and study participants and the integrity of the study were preserved. These considerations have relevance for clinicians as well as researchers dealing with the influence of illicit behaviours on health.

Item ID: 6416
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: mental health; substance abuse; public health in indigenous populations; remote indigenous communities; possible prevention or risk reduction; illicit drug; ethics; legal; confidentiality
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ISSN: 1445-5994
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2010 05:27
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920414 Substance Abuse @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920399 Indigenous Health not elsewhere classified @ 30%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 1
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