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Sensitive, Challenging, and Difficult Topics: Experiences and Practical Considerations for Qualitative Researchers

Silverio, SA, Sheen, KS, Bramante, A, Knighting, K, Koops, TU, Montgomery, E, November, L, Soulsby, LK, Stevenson, JH, Watkins, M, Easter, A and Sandall, J (2022) Sensitive, Challenging, and Difficult Topics: Experiences and Practical Considerations for Qualitative Researchers. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 21. ISSN 1609-4069

Silverio et al., (2022) - Supporting Qualitative Researchers - International Journal of Qualitative Methods.pdf - Published Version
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Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/16094069221124739 (Published version)


Qualitative researchers often engage in work addressing challenging, difficult, or sensitive topics and are consequently exposed to the participants’ narratives which may be emotionally charged, distressing, or compromising. These narratives occasionally rest heavy on a researcher’s conscience or may linger in the mind. Much literature has assessed how best to keep participants safe, but less attention has been given to how we keep researchers safe. We therefore document the following: (1) Our experiences of the issues presented by undertaking qualitative research involving challenging, difficult, or sensitive topics; and (2) Practical principles devised to overcome these issues, ensuring safety and wellbeing amongst researchers engaging in these types of qualitative research. We provide guidance for qualitative researchers of all levels of experience and expertise on how best to protect and support themselves, their colleagues, and other collaborating research staff, when undertaking qualitative research which might otherwise feel uncomfortable or overwhelming to tackle.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1110 Nursing; 1607 Social Work
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
R Medicine > RT Nursing
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine > RA0440 Study and Teaching. Research
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2023 12:05
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2023 14:03
DOI or ID number: 10.1177/16094069221124739
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18258
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