Ethical issues in perinatal mental health research

Anna R. Brandon, Geetha Shivakumar, Simon Craddock Lee, Stephen J. Inrig, John Z. Sadler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review the background of current ethical standards for the conduct of perinatal mental health research and describe the ethical challenges in this research domain. RECENT FINDINGS: Current literature reflects a growing sentiment in the scientific community that having no information regarding the impact of psychiatric treatment on the mother and developing fetus/infant poses dangers that may exceed the risks involved in research. However, without sufficient consensus across the scientific community, both regulatory bodies and perinatal researchers find themselves without a framework for decision making that satisfactorily limits the risks and facilitates the benefits of participation of pregnant and lactating women in clinical research. SUMMARY: Psychiatric research in perinatal mental health is critically important as it enables clinicians and patients to participate in informed decision-making concerning treatment for psychiatric disorders. Specific areas of concern include fetal safety, maternal risk, the therapeutic misconception, commercial interests, forensic/legal issues, the informed consent process, and study design. Developing guidelines that address ethical challenges and include the views and concerns of multiple stakeholders could improve the access of perinatal women to the benefits of participation in mental health research in addition to providing evidence-based mental healthcare for this subpopulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-606
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2009

Keywords

  • Bioethics
  • Clinical research
  • Human subjects
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Ethical issues in perinatal mental health research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this