Video Reflexive Ethnography: ethical considerations

In the UK, all research proposals involving human participants in an NHS setting require NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC) approval.  Video Reflexive Ethnography (VRE) presents particular challenges because it captures healthcare practitioners’ work and enables them to scrutinise how work happened and analyse their practices in the reflexive meetings. VRE may also pose risks by revealing how work is actually done.

There are many ethical issues with the use of VRE such as, who will be able to see the footage, how the participants confidentiality will be maintained, what the researcher will do if something wrong happened while videoing, how the footage will be used when the research project finishes. Doctoral candidate from pharmacy practice, Mais Iflaifel, presented the specific issues that have emerged in the process of NHS REC approval and the responses to tackle these issues by using an example in a study “understanding safety differently: developing a model of resilience in the use of intravenous insulin infusions in hospital in-patients”. This might serve as a practical guidance to help other VRE researchers in the UK.