Use of certificates of confidentiality in nursing research

Kristin F. Lutz, Kathleen C. Shelton, Linda C. Robrecht, Diane C. Hatton, Ann K. Beckett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: To discuss the use of Certificates of Confidentiality in nursing research. Organizing Construct: In situations that are particularly complex, sensitive, and in which the participants are extremely vulnerable, a Certificate of Confidentiality issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) may be useful to help ensure the privacy of research participants. Sources: Theoretical and research literature, DHHS documents, and research experience. Findings and Conclusions: Not all research with vulnerable populations requires the additional protection provided by Certificates of Confidentiality. However, certificates may be indicated in studies in which participants and researchers may be exposed to compelled legal disclosure of research data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-188
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


  • Certificates of confidentiality
  • Ethics
  • Human subjects
  • Legal issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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