Original Research

Managing ethical issues in sexual violence research using a pilot study

S.E. Duma, T.D. Khanyile, F. Daniels
Curationis | Vol 32, No 1 | a879 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v32i1.879 | © 2009 S.E. Duma, T.D. Khanyile, F. Daniels | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2009 | Published: 28 September 2009

About the author(s)

S.E. Duma, Division of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
T.D. Khanyile, School of Nursing, University of Western Cape, South Africa
F. Daniels, School of Nursing, University of Western Cape, South Africa

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Abstract

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.


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