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Understanding and Using Health ExperiencesImproving patient care$
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Sue Ziebland, Angela Coulter, Joseph D. Calabrese, and Louise Locock

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199665372

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665372.001.0001

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Story gathering: collecting and analysing spontaneously-shared stories as research data

Story gathering: collecting and analysing spontaneously-shared stories as research data

Chapter:
(p.60) Chapter 7 Story gathering: collecting and analysing spontaneously-shared stories as research data
Source:
Understanding and Using Health Experiences
Author(s):

Trisha Greenhalgh

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665372.003.0007

This chapter, illustrated by a worked example of diabetes self-management, describes an approach in which illness narratives are collected to extend understanding of the lived experience of the condition and inform the design of education and support programmes. In the example, we describe how informal, unstructured story-sharing groups were held for 82 participants in six different ethnic languages, facilitated by bilingual health advocates. Some but not all stories were translated by the facilitator or by members of the groups. Researchers sat in on groups, made contemporaneous notes and typed these up afterwards. We collected and analysed around 300 story-fragments, producing a new theoretical model of how the story form enables people to make sense of abstract diabetes knowledge and apply it to their own lives and lifestyles. Particular ‘storylines’, which were common across the ethnic groups studied, gave the biomedical tasks of self-management both social meaning and moral worth, allowing them to be embraced (to a greater or lesser extent) in personal and family routines. Using this empirical example, we consider the strengths and limitations of naturalistic story-gathering as a data collection method in qualitative research

Keywords:   Story-gathering, Naturalistic research, Self-management, Patient education

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