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Privacy and confidentiality in exercise and sports sciences work placements: Legal and ethical considerations
conference contributionposted on 04.11.2019, 00:00 by Betul Sekendiz
Introduction: Work placements are an integral part of exercise and sports sciences curriculum. Due to the type and location of these work placements students can often be required to access sensitive client information. There is currently a gap of knowledge about the implications of the privacy laws for exercise and sports sciences work placements and related course work requirements at private sector health service providers such as allied health clinics, fitness facilities or gyms. The aim of this study is to describe the rules for accessing and sharing sensitive client information from the perspectives of the higher education and health service providers within the relevant legal and ethical frameworks that regulate the handling of such personal information by organisations. Methods: The first stage of the study consists of a review of primary sources of law such as the relevant legislation in each jurisdiction, legal principles, and case law. The second stage of the study consists of a review of secondary sources of law such as case digests, text books, and legal peer-reviewed journal articles in order to explain the findings from the first stage of the study. Results: The findings show that regardless of the type and location of exercise and sport science work placements, a person`s right for personal autonomy to know and decide how their personal information will be maintained, used and shared is a protected legal right under the privacy laws. Government health organisations have developed very strict policy and procedures to ensure patient confidentiality during work placements or in medical research including online data security and informed consent. However, the industry standards or practices for handling private and confidential client information at exercise and sport sciences work placements at private health sites is not clear. Conclusion: The higher education providers, industry bodies, and private sector health service providers are urged to work in collaboration to develop and implement risk management strategies to ensure high standards of ethical practice and confidentiality of sensitive client health information are maintained that can support high quality learning outcomes for the work placement students. Future studies that investigate the relationship between the implementation of risk management practices and the perceptions about client privacy at exercise and sport sciences work placements are warranted.