The mental capacity act and dementia research
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The mental capacity act and dementia research

Aileen Murray Senior nurse, Older Person’s Mental Health, St James’ Hospital, Portsmouth

Aileen Murray provides practical advice on how researchers can use the legal framework to involve people with the disease in studies and give them a voice

For research to have an impact on people with dementia, they need to be involved in studies. However, undertaking research with participants who may lack capacity to consent poses many challenges for researchers. This article explores the practical application of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in the process and provides realistic advice on implementing its principles in research.

The Integrated Research Application System, NHS research ethics committees and NHS research and development departments can provide additional guidance. Knowledge of the practicalities of implementing aspects of the act that relate to research will ensure that researchers who wish to involve people with dementia can do so with ethical expertise.

Nursing Older People. 25, 3, 14-20. doi: 10.7748/nop2013.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 12 November 2012

Accepted: 05 February 2013