Psychological Services

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. Like assessments and interventions, research may involve interpersonal interaction which may burden stress or retraumatise affected people. Even non-personal research instruments may cause much distress. Therefore,

Research must recognise the needs of affected people and disaster workers and must never compromise their healing or disaster management.

Disaster managers should be appraised of the advantages of the research and their cooperation enlisted. They should consider potential convergence of researchers seeking access to affected communities and ensure minimal disruption to individuals, families and the community through multiple researchers and their projects.

Research ethics and procedures need to be explicitly specified so that proper standards are maintained. Researchers must adhere to guidelines and procedures of all organisations, government departments, tertiary education institutions or non-government organisations which may be involved in the research. General professional and specific disaster codes of ethics (see Appendix C)
must also be adhered to in research.

Subjects of research must give informed consent and their confidentiality must be maintained.

Research goals should be informed from a base of current knowledge and existing literature on all aspects of disasters.

Research should occur through established ethical research channels such as the Australian Emergency Management Institute and universities or at least be supervised by them.

Results of research should be freely available, including to the subjects themselves, other researchers and agencies and to bodies building up data profiles in Australia.

Research should be subject to quality assurance, best practice standards and scrutiny as to whether they help to improve assessments and effectiveness of interventions.

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