Family Conflict in Dementia Caregiving: Maintaining Research Ethics and Integrity: Moving Beyond the Rhetoric

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Research ethics and integrity stipulates that research must be conducted with responsibility towards the research community and should benefit the intended population. This chapter will share insights from an ongoing research programme to reduce family conflict in the context of dementia care while discussing the accompanying ethical considerations. Research into dementia care has primarily focused on improving outcomes for the care dyad, leaving the influence and input of the wider family unit under investigated. Family conflict can detrimentally impact the quality of care provided and leave caregivers vulnerable to psychosocial difficulties. Family conflict occurs in the context of dementia care but there is little research on how to reduce, or prevent, such conflict occurring. In this research programme, a systematic review investigated the effectiveness of interventions that include the wider family unit to reduce family conflict; only one study was included which evidenced the lack of interventions in this area. A qualitative scoping review was then conducted to explore the lived experiences of caregiving families with experience of family conflict and reported solutions. It was found that conflict occurred due to factors including care decisions and role transitions which impacted relationships and affected care provision. Solutions to conflict were less often reported, indicating an important gap in the literature. Interviews with Alzheimer's Society staff and volunteers revealed that stigma and denial surrounding dementia were prevalent, and families were often reluctant to seek external help. This research programme is currently establishing public patient involvement (PPI) to develop the research methodology and interview questions for people with dementia (PWD) and their family caregivers to explore their lived experiences and potential solutions to family conflict. To conclude, this research programme will propose a family-focused intervention aimed at systemic family conflict for those caring for someone with dementia.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthics and Integrity in Research with Older People and Service Users
EditorsRoger O'Sullivan
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-80455-422-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-80455-423-4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 24 Nov 2023

Publication series

NameAdvances in Research Ethics and Integrity
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
ISSN (Print)2398-6018


  • Dementia
  • Family Care
  • Family Conflict
  • Family Dynamics
  • Qualitative Research
  • Interventions


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