How nurses can support the inclusion in research of older people who lack capacity to consent
evidence and practice    

How nurses can support the inclusion in research of older people who lack capacity to consent

Victoria Shepherd Research Associate, Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the implications of excluding from research older people who lack capacity to consent

  • To enhance your knowledge of the legal framework that supports the inclusion in research of people who lack capacity to consent

  • To locate resources that can assist you in ensuring that older people in your care can participate in research

Research is important because it underpins evidence-based care. However, people who lack capacity to consent are often excluded from research, due partly to ethical concerns and practical challenges, and partly to a lack of awareness among professionals of the legal framework that supports their inclusion. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has extensively affected care home residents, has reinforced the importance of including older people with cognitive impairment in research. Nurses who care for older people with impaired cognition have an important role in ensuring these people have the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from research.

This article discusses some of the challenges associated with the inclusion in research of older people who lack capacity to consent, including the involvement of relatives and friends in decision-making. The article describes the findings of recent research and shares resources with the aim of supporting nurses to ensure that older people in their care who lack capacity can participate in research.

Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2020.e1267

Peer review

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

@VickyLShepherd

Correspondence

ShepherdVL1@cardiff.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Shepherd V (2020) How nurses can support the inclusion in research of older people who lack capacity to consent. Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2020.e1267

Published online: 21 October 2020

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