Qualitative fieldwork in medical contexts: confessions of a neophyte researcher

Sanders, Phoebe and Wadey, Ross and Day, Melissa and Winter, Stacy (2017) Qualitative fieldwork in medical contexts: confessions of a neophyte researcher. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health. ISSN 2159-676X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2017.1351390


Immersive fieldwork can facilitate an understanding of the richness, complexity and multifaceted relationships within medical environments, and is increasingly being used to explore sensitive topics within health care. However, few published studies have made use of immersive methods within hospitals or clinics, and there is a lack of guidance for those seeking to conduct immersive research within medical spaces. In this confessional tale, the first author, a neophyte qualitative researcher with no medical training, reflects upon her experiences during the first five months integrating into an amputee rehabilitation clinic prior to a period of immersive fieldwork. Drawing on 195 h of observation and the author’s reflexive journal (totalling more than 20,000 words), alongside discussions with the supervisory team, four main challenges are discussed: finding a role, navigating waiting spaces, encountering the unfamiliar, and ethics in the boardroom and in the field. Specific recommendations for novice researchers entering medical environments include: preparing to encounter those who do not share their beliefs, identifying a safe environment in which they can share their emotions, and engaging in reflective practice to explore the impact their (in)experience and willingness to embrace opportunities for learning may have within their own research context

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: The published Version of Record is (c) Taylor & Francis, and can be accessed via: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2017.1351390
School/Department: School of Sport, Health and Applied Science
Depositing User: Dr Ross Wadey
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2017 12:53
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2017 12:53
URI: http://research.stmarys.ac.uk/id/eprint/1668


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