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Conducting Qualitative Research Interviews with Children with lIfe-Limiting Conditions: The Methodological Needs and Nuances

Rodriguez, Alison and King, Nigel (2008) Conducting Qualitative Research Interviews with Children with lIfe-Limiting Conditions: The Methodological Needs and Nuances. In: 5th Research Forum of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC), 28th - 31st May 2008, Trondheim, Norway. (Unpublished)

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A great amount of what we know about children with lifelimiting conditions is gained from interviews with adults who know them well, for example parents and practitioners. However, by interviewing the children themselves, it is possible to collect data that are otherwise unobtainable. This paper presents the methodological findings from a qualitative study which involved children with life-limiting conditions.

Five phenomenological interviews were conducted with children with lifelimiting conditions, ranging from five to fifteen years of age. The aim was to gather data pertaining to their lived experiences of life-limiting illness. Drawing and writing exercises were used as a means of setting the children at ease and the children were given the freewill to determine the direction of the interview.

An interview averaging forty minutes was conducted with each child in their own homes. All Interviews commenced in quiet and private settings to reduce distractions as much as possible. However, if the children expressed a desire to move locations within the home, change the subjects of conversation or go and interact with others, this was permitted. At times, keeping the interview focus was difficult. The researcher’s sensitivity and judgement was used to determine the length of the interview. A number of interesting and harrowing themes evolved from the interviews highlighting the fears and hopes of children who experience life-limiting illness.

The power and superiority status ascribed to adults in society means it is difficult for children to present their ideas openly as they often think that they are expected to listen and follow. It is also difficult for children to ‘step aside’ and reflect on their own experiences. To obtain a breadth and depth of data, the researcher needs to move away from the ‘interviewer frame’ and enter the world of the child. This can be achieved by engaging in age appropriate interaction and by adopting a relaxed questioning route.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Applied Psychological Research
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Depositing User: Alison Rodriguez
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2012 12:17
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2012 12:17

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