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Attitudes towards the collection and linkage of maltreatment data for research:A qualitative study

Moody, Gwenllian ORCID:, Cannings-John, Rebecca ORCID:, Hood, Kerenza ORCID: and Robling, Michael ORCID: 2022. Attitudes towards the collection and linkage of maltreatment data for research:A qualitative study. International Journal of Population Data Science 7 (1) , 1693. 10.23889/ijpds.v7i1.1693

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Introduction Factors that affect public and professionals' attitudes towards the collection and linkage of health and other data have been explored in the literature. Thus far there has been no study exploring attitudes towards the collection of child maltreatment data. Objectives Our aim is to explore attitudes regarding the collection and linkage of maltreatment data for research. Methods Participants included younger mothers, older mothers, care-experienced young people, and professionals who were responsible for recording child maltreatment data. Four face-to-face focus groups were conducted, one with younger mothers (n = 6), one with older mothers (n = 10), and two with care-experienced young people (n = 6 and n = 5). An online focus group was conducted with professionals (n = 10), two of whom additionally participated in telephone interviews. Transcribed audio-recorded data were inductively coded, a portion were double-coded by a second researcher, and thematically analysed. Results Three major themes were identified. The first concerned issues of consent, specifically the conditions for providing consent and factors influencing this. The second concerned trust in data security and validity, the organisations and individuals providing and using the data, and how the information provided shapes attitudes. The third theme explored the benefits of research and the researchers' role in child protection. Participants wanted the choice of providing consent for data collection, especially when consenting on behalf of another, but there were concerns that maltreated children were unidentifiable in anonymised datasets. Care-experienced young people were concerned about data collection from Social Services records due to their sensitivity. There was a general lack of understanding about how research data is viewed and the accuracy of records. Conclusions Novel findings in the study were strongly related to the sensitive nature of the topic. The findings may be particularly useful when designing research studies and participant materials and a co-productive approach to this should be taken.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Centre for Trials Research (CNTRR)
Additional Information: Open Access under CC BY 4.0
Publisher: Swansea University
ISSN: 2399-4908
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 February 2022
Date of Acceptance: 25 November 2021
Last Modified: 11 May 2023 03:45

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