Skip header navigation


Acceptability by parents and children of deception in pediatric research

Noel M, Boerner KE, Birnie KA, Caes L, Parker JA, Chambers CT, Fernandez CV & Lee K (2015) Acceptability by parents and children of deception in pediatric research. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 36 (2), pp. 75-85.

OBJECTIVE: Deception has been used to investigate the role of developmental and behavioral factors in child health; however, its acceptability for use in pediatric research has received little empirical attention. This study examined the acceptability of deception in a pediatric pain research study as assessed through participating children's and parent's long-term perceptions of its use.  METHOD: Ninety-four children (52 boys; meanage = 12.77 yr) and their parents (86 mothers, 8 fathers) completed a structured interview that assessed perceptions of various aspects of deception in a pediatric pain study, 2.5 years after participating.  RESULTS: A minority of parents (25.5%) and children (13.8%) spontaneously recalled that deception was used. Overall, parents and children reported positive experiences with research participation, felt comfortable with the debriefing process, and deemed the research to be of societal importance. Opinions about researchers and psychologists were not negatively impacted, and most reported willingness to participate in research involving deception again.  CONCLUSION: When thoughtfully planned and disclosed, deception in pediatric research seems to be acceptable to parents and children. Future research should further examine the acceptability of deception and alternatives (e.g., authorized deception) among pediatric samples.

Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics: Volume 36, Issue 2

Author(s)Noel, Melanie; Boerner, Katelynn E; Birnie, Kathryn A; Caes, Line; Parker, Jennifer A; Chambers, Christine T; Fernandez, Conrad V; Lee, Kang
Publication date28/02/2015
PublisherWolters Kluwer Health
Scroll back to the top