Tight Ties in Collaborative Health Research Puts Research Ethics on Trial? A Discussion on Autonomy, Confidentiality, and Integrity in Qualitative Research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Collaborative research involving different stakeholders is increasingly becoming a preferred way of doing qualitative research to improve health care services. However, ethical research dilemmas arise when collaborative ties are tight. Based on lessons learned from two qualitative collaborative health care research projects in two different municipalities in Norway and Denmark, respectively, this article illuminates ethical research dilemmas around ethical principles and guidelines of autonomy (informed consent), confidentiality (anonymity), and integrity of research. Accordingly, there is a need to revisit and resume international ethical research guidelines formulated in the Declaration of Helsinki, when it comes to research guidelines of informed consent, anonymity, and integrity of research. Moreover, we suggest that collaborators contemplate and negotiate these ethical research issues to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings, conflicts, and pressures when doing research with stakeholders when collaboration ties are tight.


External organisations
  • Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
  • University College Absalon
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical and Health Sciences
  • Medical Ethics


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalQualitative Health Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019 Jan 9
Publication categoryResearch