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Bioethical issues in providing financial incentives to research participants

Authors Resnik D

Received 17 April 2015

Accepted for publication 12 May 2015

Published 24 June 2015 Volume 2015:5 Pages 35—41

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/MB.S70416

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Bethany Spielman


David B Resnik

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA

Abstract: Offering research subjects financial incentives for their participation is a common practice that boosts recruitment but also raises ethical concerns, such as undue inducement, exploitation, and biased enrollment. This article reviews the arguments for providing participants with financial incentives, ethical concerns about payment, and approaches to establishing appropriate compensation levels. It also makes recommendations for investigators, institutions, and oversight committees.

Keywords: human participant research, payment, ethics, undue inducement, exploitation, fairness

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