Adolescent perspectives about their participation in alcohol intervention research in emergency care: A qualitative exploration using ethical principles as an analytical framework.
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To explore adolescents' experiences of consenting to, and participating in, alcohol intervention trials when attending for emergency care. In-depth semi-structured interviews with 27 adolescents (16 males; aged 14-17 years (Mage = 15.7)) who had taken part in one of two linked brief alcohol intervention trials based in 10 accident and emergency departments in England. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and subject to thematic analysis. Research and intervention methods were generally found to be acceptable though confidentiality was important and parental presence could hinder truthful disclosures regarding alcohol use. Participants discussed the importance of being involved in research that was relevant to them and recognised alcohol consumption as a normative part of adolescence, highlighting the importance of having access to appropriate health information. Beyond this, they recognised the benefits and risks of trial participation for themselves and others with the majority showing a degree of altruism in considering longer term implications for others as well as themselves. Alcohol screening and intervention in emergency care is both acceptable and relevant to adolescents but acceptability is reliant on confidentiality being assured and may be inhibited by parental presence. ISRCTN Number: 45300218.
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