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When a study involves human participants, researchers need to ensure their safety and protect their identities. How do potential participants know what they are agreeing…
When a study involves human participants, researchers need to ensure their safety and protect their identities. How do potential participants know what they are agreeing to contribute, and how and why the research is being conducted? Informed consent describes the process and agreements that answer such questions. Conventional consent protocols focused on preresearch discussions between the researcher and the potential participant, resulting in a signed document that verified the agreement. In research conducted with, on, or through social media, there are fewer opportunities for conversational explanations of formal documents. Simply posting legalistic documents is ineffective because Internet users typically do not read such materials before verifying agreement. Researchers need to understand communities, contexts, and communication styles of target participants and settings in order to provide information in familiar, user-friendly ways. Based on a review of literature about informed consent, and a study of current practices used by companies that need to verify agreements online, practical research suggestions are offered. Qualitative researchers who want to collect data through active interactions with human participants will find these examples and recommendations of use when designing their studies.
The purpose of this paper is to measure Canadian attitudes towards genetic engineering in food, for both plant-based and livestock, assess trust towards food safety and…
The purpose of this paper is to measure Canadian attitudes towards genetic engineering in food, for both plant-based and livestock, assess trust towards food safety and overall regulatory system in Canada.
This exploratory study is derived from an inductive, quantitative analysis of primary data obtained from an online survey of adults, aged 18 and over, living in Canada for at least 12 months. An online survey was widely distributed in both French and English. Data were collected from 1,049 respondents. The sample was randomized using regional and demographic benchmarks for an accurate representation of the Canadian population. The completion rate of the survey was 94 per cent. Based on the sampling design, the margin of error is 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
Consumers misunderstand the nature of genetic engineering or do not appreciate its prevalence in agrifood or both. In total, 44 per cent of Canadians are confused about health effects of genetically engineered foods and ingredients. In total, 40 per cent believe that there is not significant testing on genetically engineered food to protect consumers. In total, 52 per cent are uncertain on their consumption of genetically engineered food, despite its prominence in the agrifood marketplace. Scientific literacy of respondents on genetic engineering is low. While Canadians are divided on purchasing genetically engineered animal-based products, 55 per cent indicated price is the most important factor when purchasing food.
More research is required to better appreciate the sociological and economic dimensions of incorporating GM foods into our lives. Most importantly, longitudinal risks ought to be better understood for both plant- and animal-based GM foods and ingredients. Additional research is needed to quantify the benefits and risks of GM crops livestock, so business practices and policies approach market expectations. Significantly, improving consumers’ scientific literacy on GM foods will reduce confusion and allow for more informed purchasing decisions. Indeed, a proactive research agenda on biotechnologies can accommodate well-informed discussions with public agencies, food businesses and consumers.
This exploratory study is one of the first to compare consumers’ perceptions of genetic engineering related to animal and plant-based species in Canada since the addition of genetically modified salmon to the marketplace.
Encouraging patient involvement is a cornerstone of many healthcare interventions and decision-making models to ensure that treatment decisions reflect the needs, values…
Encouraging patient involvement is a cornerstone of many healthcare interventions and decision-making models to ensure that treatment decisions reflect the needs, values, and desires of patients. Involved patients are thought to be empowered patients who feel a sense of efficacy in regards to their own health. However, there is a lack of understanding of how patients relate to empowerment and involvement and, most importantly, how these constructs relate to one another in patients’ decision-making experiences.
Through an inductive analysis, this chapter draws on qualitative interviews of women diagnosed with breast cancer prior to 40 years of age (n = 69).
By examining the intersection of how patients define their own involvement in treatment decisions and their sense of empowerment, we find four orientations to decision-making (Advocates, Bystanders, Co-Pilots, and Downplayers) with involvement and empowerment being coupled for some respondents, but decoupled for others.
Our findings suggest expanding what it means to be an “active” patient as respondents had multiple ways of characterizing involvement, including being informed or following their doctor’s advice. Our findings also suggest a more critical examination of the origins and potential downsides of patient empowerment as some respondents reported feeling overwhelmed or pushed into advocacy roles. The sample was disproportionately higher socioeconomic status with limited racial/ethnic diversity. Empowerment and involvement may be enacted differently for other social groups and other medical conditions.
By examining first-person patient narratives, we conclude that patients’ experience may not fully align with current academic or clinical discussions of patient involvement or empowerment.
Application of the numerical method to the art of Medicine was regarded not as a “trivial ingenuity” but “an important stage in its development”; thus proclaimed Professor Bradford Hill, accepted as the father of medical statistics, a study still largely unintelligible to the mass of medical practitioners. The need for Statistics is the elucidation of the effects of multiple causes; this represents the essence of the statistical method and is most commendable. Conclusions reached empirically under statistical scrutiny have mistakes and fallacies exposed. Numerical methods of analysis, the mathematical approach, reveals data relating to factors in an investigation, which might be missed in empirical observation, and by means of a figure states their significance in the whole. A simplified example is the numerical analysis of food poisoning, which alone determines the commonest causative organisms, the commonest food vehicles and the organisms which affect different foods, as well as changes in the pattern, e.g., the rising incidence of S. agona and the increase of turkey (and the occasions on which it is served, such as Christmas parties), as a food poisoning vehicle. The information data enables preventive measures to be taken. The ever‐widening fields of Medicine literally teem with such situations, where complexities are unravelled and the true significance of the many factors are established. Almost every sphere of human activity can be similarly measured. Apart from errors of sampling, problems seem fewer and controversy less with technical methods of analysis then on the presentation and interpretation of figures, or as Bradford Hill states “on the application of common sense and on elementary rules of logic”.
The more recent history of the National Health Service, especially the Hospital Service, has been in the nature of a lumbering from one crisis to another. From the moment of its inception it has proved far more costly than estimated and over‐administered, but in the early years, it had great promise and was efficient at ward level, which continued until more recent times. As costs increased and administration grew and grew, much of it serving no useful purpose, there appeared to be a need for reorganisation. In 1974, a three‐tier structure was introduced by the establishment of new area health authorities, the primary object of which was to facilitate — and cheapen — decision making; to give the district bodies and personnel easier access to “management”. It coincided with reorganisation of Local Government, which included the transfer of all the personal health services and abolition of the office of medical officer of health. At the time and in looking back, there was very little need for this and reviewing the progress and advances made in local government, medical officers of health who had advocated the transfer, mainly for reasons of their own status, would have achieved this and more by remainining in the local government service; the majority of health visitors appear to have reached the same conclusion. They constitute a profession within themselves and in truth do not have all that much in common with day‐to‐day nursing. The basic training and nursing qualification is most essential, however. It has been said that a person is only as good a health visitor as she is a nurse.
Despite widespread interest in the resources and people of Alaska, few libraries outside of the state maintain extensive collections on these subjects. In this article…
Despite widespread interest in the resources and people of Alaska, few libraries outside of the state maintain extensive collections on these subjects. In this article, David A. Hales reviews a multifarious sample of informative materials.
The new Fair Trading measure aims at the establishment of a strong, bioadly‐based central direction of consumer protection; a new Director‐General of Fair Trading with wide responsibilities “for protecting consumers” with authority to “make proposals for the exercise of order‐making powers in relation to trading practices which adversely affect consumer interests”, and “to act against those who persistently follow a course of conduct unfair to consumers”. This supremo is to work closely with the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and the Restrictive Practices Board, and no less than five junior Ministers are to be given special responsibilities for protecting consumer interests, handling these aspects of the new system in their own departments.