Practice-informed guidance for undertaking remotely delivered mental health research
evidence and practice    

Practice-informed guidance for undertaking remotely delivered mental health research

Louise McCarthy Lead research nurse and NIHR 70@70 senior nurse research leader, research department, Hellesdon Hospital, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, England
Bonnie Teague Research manager, research department, Hellesdon Hospital, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, England
Kayte Rowe Deputy research manager, research department, Hellesdon Hospital, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, England
Kathryn Janes Deputy research manager, research department, Hellesdon Hospital, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, England
Tom Rhodes Senior research facilitator, research department, Hellesdon Hospital, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, England
Corinna Hackmann Research development lead, research department, Hellesdon Hospital, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, England
Lamiya Samad Post-doctoral research associate, research department, Hellesdon Hospital, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, England
Jon Wilson Research director, research department, Hellesdon Hospital, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, England

Why you should read this article
  • To gain guidance on what to consider when assessing the appropriateness of remotely delivered research

  • To understand which circumstances will require careful consideration, such as informed consent

  • To gather methods to support the development of a supportive research relationship

  • To make use of a practical and adaptable checklist

Background The assessment and monitoring of health conditions using remote or online delivery is an emerging interest in healthcare systems globally but is not routinely used in mental health research. There is a growing need to offer remotely delivered appointments in mental health research. There is a lack of practical guidance about how nurse researchers can undertake remote research appointments ethically and safely, while maintaining the scientific integrity of the research.

Aim To provide mental health nurse researchers with information about important issues to consider when assessing the appropriateness of remotely delivered research and methods to support the development of a supportive research relationship.

Discussion The practice guidance and checklist include issues a nurse researcher should consider when assessing suitability and eligibility for remotely delivered research visits, such as ethical considerations and arrangements, safety, communication, and identifying participants requiring further support. This article addresses processes to follow for assessing mental capacity, obtaining informed consent and collaboratively completing research measures.

Conclusion Remotely delivered research appointments could be acceptable and efficient ways to obtain informed consent and collect data. Additional checks need to be in place to identify and escalate concerns about safeguarding or risks.

Implications for practice Practical guidance for mental health nurse researchers when determining the appropriateness of remote research visits for participants, and an adaptable checklist for undertaking remote research appointments are outlined.

Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2021.e1770

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

louise.mccarthy@nsft.nhs.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

McCarthy L, Teague B, Rowe K et al (2021) Practice-informed guidance for undertaking remotely delivered mental health research. Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2021.e1770

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all research practitioners at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) Research for discussing their views, NSFT Library Services for obtaining literature and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) CRN Eastern for their support with the writing of the article during COVID-19. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care

Published online: 15 April 2021

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