Including Vulnerable Groups in Health Research

  • Nikki Kiyimba
  • Jessica Nina Lester
  • Michelle O’Reilly


Commonly, health research involves participants who may be considered vulnerable in some way, by virtue of their illness or health status, their age, or some other factor. Recruiting participants who are considered vulnerable has been the subject of much critical discussion, in terms of ensuring those voices are not excluded, but also in terms of ethics and protection. However, the notion of ‘vulnerability’ is contentious, and there has been some debate regarding which populations ought to be classified in this way. When including these groups in naturally occurring data collection, these issues are also relevant and important. Thus, the focus for the chapter is on this concept of vulnerability in qualitative health research, and the role that gatekeepers play in protecting them.


Vulnerability Sensitive Qualitative Gatekeepers Protection 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikki Kiyimba
    • 1
  • Jessica Nina Lester
    • 2
  • Michelle O’Reilly
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Social and Political ScienceUniversity of ChesterChesterUK
  2. 2.School of EducationIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.The Greenwood Institute of Child HealthUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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