STIPED non invasive brain stimulation

WP2: Ethical and social issues, patient and public involvement

Work package 2 is led by Prof. Dr. Alena Buyx (Section of Medical Ethics at the Institute of Experimental Medicine, CAU Kiel).

The main objectives of work package 2 "Ethical and social issues, patient and public involvement" are: 

  • To investigate beliefs and attitudes towards application of tDCS techniques in children and adolescents and examine and address concerns and expectations of patients and their families as well as health professionals and teachers towards tDCS in pediatrics and child psychiatry
  • To map and address ethical issues of tDCS as treatment, and as nonpharmacological neuroenhancement; and to stimulate discussion of these issues in patient and care-giver forums, as well as with policy makers, other stakeholders, and publicly
  • To develop recommendations and policy suggestions for tDCS in pediatrics
  • To provide systematic assessment, discussion and advice regarding emerging research ethical issues throughout the duration of the project


In addition, the work package will support all members of the consortium in paying strict attention to following all standards of research ethics and good practice.

Work package 2 is subdivided into the following tasks:

  • Interview and survey study: This task includes the development of guides for semi-structured interviews in the target populations (patients, carers/families, health professionals, and teachers) and a questionnaire for an international survey (also targeted at healthy individuals).The information collected will support the design of a treatment strategy in a way that avoids ethical and social problems. 

  • Literature review, ethical mapping and analysis, PPI and policy development: A comprehensive ethical analysis will be conducted and the more theoretical, neuro-ethical debates around brain stimulation and neuro-enhancement will be mapped to learn about the arguments exchanged and to contribute new ones.

  • Development of recommendations for application of tDCS in the treatment of CPND: The work package will engage with patient and advocacy groups, other researchers, and the wider public, with the aim to develop policy recommendations for the best possible implementation of transcranial brain stimulation into wider practice.

  • Internal ethics advice: This consists in the provision of internal support and advice on research ethics issues arising during the project.

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