Ethical issues in neuroimaging health research: an IPA study with research participants

Rachel L. Shaw, Carl Senior, Elizabeth A. Peel, Richard Cooke, Louise S. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neuroimaging is increasingly used to understand conditions like stroke and epilepsy. However, there is growing recognition that neuroimaging can raise ethical issues. We used interpretative phenomenological analysis to analyse interview data pre-and post-scan to explore these ethical issues. Findings show participants can become anxious prior to scanning and the protocol for managing incidental findings is unclear. Participants lacked a frame of reference to contextualize their expectations and often drew on medical narratives. Recommendations to reduce anxiety include dialogue between researcher and participant to clarify understanding during consent and the use of a `virtual tour' of the neuroimaging experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1051-1059
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • neuroethics
  • neuroimaging
  • qualitative research


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