Transparency & Privacy
Informed Consent Process
Verbal and written consent processes will be necessary due to the choice of using snowball sampling as a primary recruitment strategy. Thus, LEARN will establish similar protocols for verbal and written consent. The informed consent process will include the following process: 1) giving potential BIPOC participant collaborators information about the study, 2) creating a context that affords potential BIPOC participant collaborators the opportunity to consider all options, 3) soliciting and responding to their questions, 4) confirming and verifying that BIPOC potential collaborators have understood the information presented, 5) obtaining their voluntary verbal or written agreement to become involved/participate in the study, and 6) making a commitment to continue to provide information as the participant collaborator or situation requires.
Deception and Debriefing Process
No deception is involved in the study. Nevertheless, LEARN will engage in a process of general debriefing. Toward the end of the interviews, BIPOC participant collaborators will be afforded an opportunity to reflect on and share the impact of participating in the research process. The LEARN team members will acknowledge the possibility of emotional reactions to the questions or discussion and encourage participants to connect with local clinical resources should they decide that they need assistance at any time. BIPOC participant collaborators will also be provided with two national resources, Crisis Test Line and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which offer free, 24/7 confidential support. In addition, participants will be invited to seek clarity about any aspect of their interview experience or the research study, i.e., purpose of study and expected research outcomes.
Furthermore, LEARN team members will invite BIPOC participant collaborators to engage in a meta-question process (Tomm, 2012) where they will reflect on the questions asked of them, e.g., how do you feel about the questions I have asked? Where the questions meaningful or relevant to you or your circumstances? What else might I ask you that could help me more fully understand your situation, perspectives, ideas and solutions? Who else might be able to or may be interested in giving their perspectives? Whom might you recommend to help me gain a deeper or different perspective? Who else might find this experience meaningful or relevant?
Risk and Injury
There is minimal risks and limited potential for injury. LEARN will institute an important step in immunizing or preventing risks which is the careful design and implementation of an ethically-based study. Crucial elements of such a study are having well-thought out sampling and data collection structures as well as implementing ethical protocols for consent, storage, and confidentiality.
BIPOC participant collaborators’ identities will be known to LEARN and will be protected from public exposure. LEARN Missoula will make every effort to prevent anyone outside of the project from connecting individual participants with their stories or descriptions. Therefore, a special code, (e.g., 001), will be used at the time of the interview conversation so that no names or other identifying information exist on BIPOC participant collaborators’ responses even in the files. The use of study codes is an effective method for protecting the confidentiality of BIPOC key informants, stakeholders, and collaborators. Study codes will be used on data collection instruments, e.g., audio recordings, demographic forms, transcripts, in place of identifying information to protect confidentiality and privacy of responses.