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Open AccessArticle

Exploring the Role of ‘Shadowing’ as a Beneficial Preparatory Step for Sensitive Qualitative Research with Children and Young People with Serious Health Conditions

1
Institute of Cancer and Genomics, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
2
Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
3
Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham B4 6NH, UK
4
School of Nursing, Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Societies 2020, 10(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc10010014
Received: 14 November 2019 / Revised: 24 January 2020 / Accepted: 28 January 2020 / Published: 30 January 2020
This article aims to explore and record the role of shadowing in preparation for a qualitative study involving children and families with sensitive health issues. The researcher was engaged for a study involving qualitative research involving paediatric patients (those under 18 years old) and their families, but was unfamiliar with a hospital environment and interviewing children and young people (CYP) with a serious health condition. The researcher ‘shadowed’ healthcare professionals (HCPs) at a children’s hospital during their day-to-day work in order to prepare for the research interviewing. From shadowing, the researcher gained: familiarity with a hospital environment, organisational processes, and medical terminology; an understanding of the appropriate ways to refer to patients; confidence and competence in talking to children with serious health conditions; and resilience to becoming upset during interviews while hearing patients’ distressing stories—they became ‘desensitised’. Shadowing can therefore be highly beneficial for researchers undertaking research in unfamiliar contexts, environments, and populations prior to interviewing. View Full-Text
Keywords: shadowing; qualitative research; research methodology; CYP; paediatric patients; interviews; sensitive research; chronic illness; brain tumours shadowing; qualitative research; research methodology; CYP; paediatric patients; interviews; sensitive research; chronic illness; brain tumours
MDPI and ACS Style

Tyldesley-Marshall, N.; Greenfield, S.; Neilson, S.J.; Adamski, J.; Beardsmore, S.; English, M.; Peet, A. Exploring the Role of ‘Shadowing’ as a Beneficial Preparatory Step for Sensitive Qualitative Research with Children and Young People with Serious Health Conditions. Societies 2020, 10, 14.

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