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Putting research ethics in context: Rethinking vulnerability and agency within a research ethics case study on HIV prevention for young girls in South Africa

Nkosi, B; Seeley, J; Chimbindi, N; Zuma, T; Kelley, M; Shahmanesh, M; (2022) Putting research ethics in context: Rethinking vulnerability and agency within a research ethics case study on HIV prevention for young girls in South Africa. SSM - Qualitative Research in Health , 2 , Article 100081. 10.1016/j.ssmqr.2022.100081. Green open access

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Abstract

We investigated conceptual shifts around vulnerability and ethical issues arising in research using a case study embedded within an HIV intervention project targeting adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in a rural district, South Africa. We recruited 77 participants. Sixty-five people participated in focus group discussions (FGDs); nine in in-depth interviews (IDIs) and three in key informant interviews (KIIs). Data were analysed iteratively using thematic framework analysis. Themes were determined by the study aims and an inductive development of codes emerging from the data. We investigated ethical issues arising at the intersection between the vulnerabilities and agency experienced by research participants. Our findings show that AGYW's ability to exercise agency is dependent on the social, economic and political context. Understanding the social structures is crucial for interventions seeking to improve the health and social well-being of AGYW.

Type: Article
Title: Putting research ethics in context: Rethinking vulnerability and agency within a research ethics case study on HIV prevention for young girls in South Africa
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ssmqr.2022.100081
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmqr.2022.100081
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Keywords: Agency, Adolescent girls and young women, Research ethics, Vulnerability, South Africa
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10170163
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