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1153374_Ryan,H_2021.pdf (397.9 kB)

Inclusion under the Mental Capacity Act (2005): a review of research policy guidance and governance structures in England and Wales

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-05-03, 05:26 authored by H Ryan, R Heywood, O Jimoh, A Killett, PE Langdon, Ciara ShigginsCiara Shiggins, K Bunning
Objective: To investigate how people with communication and understanding difficulties, associated with conditions such as dementia, autism and intellectual disability, are represented in research guidance supplementary to the Mental Capacity Act (MCA: 2005) in England and Wales. Methods: A documentary survey was conducted. The sample comprised the MCA Code of Practice (CoP: 2007) and 14 multi-authored advisory documents that were publicly available on the Health Research Authority website. Textual review of key words was conducted followed by summative content analysis. Results: Representation of people with communication and understanding difficulties was confined to procedural information and position statements that focused mainly on risk management and protection. Whilst a need to engage potential participants was recognized, guidance provided was imprecise. Conclusions: Tensions exist between the protection versus empowerment of people with communication and understanding difficulties in research. The development of structured, evidence-based guidance is indicated. Patient or public contribution: People with communication and understanding difficulties and carers participated in a working group to explore, discuss and interpret the findings.


Project ASSENT is funded by the Nuffield Foundation.


Publication Date



Health Expectations





Article Number



13p. (p. 152-164)





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