Inclusion of adults with conditions that have the potential to affect capacity and/or communication in research: triangulation from a mixed methods study of current practice and values across multiple stakeholders

Anne Killett, Peter E. Langdon, Hayley Ryan, Ciara Shiggins, Rob Heywood, Oluseyi F. Jimoh, Marcus Redley, Karen Bunning

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Abstract

Objectives We aimed to: (A) describe researcher decision-making when including or excluding adults with conditions that have the potential to affect capacity and/or communication in research and (B) explore the underlying values and reasoning of stakeholders in research which falls under the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act, 2005. Design The mixed-methods design included semistructured interviews with adults with conditions that have the potential to affect capacity and/or communication, supporters, researchers, research ethics committee members and an online survey with researchers. Triangulation was used to integrate the data and examine the complementarity of the findings. Setting England and Wales. Participants There were 61 participants who took part in semistructured interviews, of which 39 were adults with conditions with potential to affect capacity and/or communication, 6 were in support roles for adults with conditions with potential to affect capacity and/or communication (including family members and professionals in advocacy organisations), 8 were members of research ethics committees flagged under the Mental Capacity Act to review research where there could be issues of mental capacity and 8 were researchers with experience of working with adults with conditions that have the potential to affect capacity and/or communication. The online survey had 128 participants, researchers with experience of working with adults with conditions that have the potential to affect capacity and/or communication. Results All stakeholders were supportive of the genuine inclusion of adults with conditions that have the potential to affect capacity and/or communication in research, and exclusion was seen as a form of discrimination. Many researchers were daunted by meeting the threshold within the legislation for including participants who may lack capacity. Conclusion Further training, expertise and resources are required to promote the successful inclusion in research of adults with conditions that have the potential to affect capacity and/or communication.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere068366
JournalBMJ Open
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2023

Keywords

  • Research design
  • healthcare disparities
  • stroke
  • dementia
  • mental health

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