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On-line version ISSN 2223-6279
Print version ISSN 0379-8577

Curationis vol.32 n.1 Pretoria  2009




Managing ethical issues in sexual violence research using a pilot study



SE DumaI; TD KhanyileII; F DanielsIII

IPhD. Associate Professor, Division of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town
IIPhD. Professor, School of Nursing, University of Western Cape
IIISenior Lecturer, School of Nursing, University of Western Cape





Conducting research in the area of sexual violence has complex ethical and practical challenges for the researcher. Managing ethical issues in sexual violence is important and can be achieved through the use of pilot studies.
The primary purpose of the pilot study was to identify and manage potential ethical and practical problems that could jeopardise the main study or violate the ethical and human rights of participants in the main study on women's journey of recovery from sexual assault. The secondary purpose was to collect preliminary data in order to determine the human, financial and time resources needed for a planned study. The methods and processes used in conducting the pilot study in the study on women's journey of recovery are discussed according to each of the objectives of the pilot study, methods used to achieve the objective, observations or findings made during the pilot study, and implications for the main study.
This article aims to demonstrate how a pilot study was used to manage identified potential ethical and practical research issues during the recruitment of participants and data collection for the research that was conducted by the first author to investigate women's journey of recovery from sexual assault trauma within the first week following sexual assault.

Key words: ethical issues, sexual violence research, pilot studies



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Prof. S Duma
Division of Nursing & Midwifery
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Cape Town
Tel: (021)406-6401; Fax: (021)406-6323

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