Six Basic Methods To Guarantee Privacy Among Study Participants

Strategies to ensure privacy among research study participants include restricting the collection of identity data, utilizing detachable face sheets, adjusting identity information, keeping data in a secure location, protecting files in the computer, and using strict specifications in the destruction of files.

An investigation that involves the engagement of a group of individuals lies on these individuals' trust and cooperation for the excellence of the study. Privacy is one of the most popular problems that will hinder a person from being a research participant. So, you must always ensure privacy to ease the fears among possible participants and inspire them to take part in the investigation.

Limit the collection of identity details

Limit the collection of data concerning the participant's identity only to ones which are essential for the study. For example, if your investigation is concerning the generational attitude towards health; then, details on the participant's number of kids and the kind of work he has are probably not pertinent details. Jotting down only the identity details which are relevant to the investigation will help maintain the participant's identity in private and would also help calm her down regarding her involvement in the research.

Use removable face sheets

Provide survey forms with face sheets which can be taken away and separated from the rest of the other kinds. After the collection of the research details, remove the face sheets and keep them in a secure location that is separate from the other data forms. If you need to trace the participants to their answers, give a numerical code to the face sheets and the participants' answer forms. You need to keep the key code in a safe place where authorized, trusted staff could only access it.

Adjust identity data

You can also boost the privacy protection of your study participants' by modifying the identity details which gave out their identities as individuals. You may do this by providing a selection of general points rather than specific ones. For example, you can let the participants choose a range of ages, rather than letting him jot down his actual age; an income bracket for the participants' private earnings; and region instead of his city.

Keep details in a safe area

Store the collected data in a secure area, like a room or a filing cabinet that has a lock and key. You must also restrict the access of these types of data forms just to authorized members of the research group who've undergone privacy training procedures. In addition, you should also make every person who has access to these forms sign a confidentiality agreement form.

Shield information in the computer

Encrypt the computer where you save all the data and secure them with a password and also firewall. Offer every official researcher in the investigation their own password to save the information in the laptop or computer. After an individual investigator is done with his work, remove his account in the personal computer. You must also change your computer's password every two to three months.

Utilize strict standards in the destruction of documents

Follow the highest standards in destroying files and forms you don't need. Rather than just throwing them away to garbage cans, destroy them on location that has a safe form of document shredding service. You must also remove electronic files completely and permanently with the latest file deletion program rather than just placing them in your computer's garbage bin.

It is vital that you manage every part of your investigation properly. This is so your research will become successful with as few problems as possible.

Written by Patricia Strasser. Learn more about document shredding service by going to

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