The Experience of Applying a Narrative Research Approach with Older People
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Hsu, M. & McCormack, B. (2010) The Experience of Applying a Narrative Research Approach with Older People, Journal of Nursing Research, vol. 18, , pp. 249-257,
Background: Evidence suggests that older people hold lowerexpectations of healthcare, which restricts their involvement.Narrative research provides an option to explore personal experiencesbeyond the boundaries of a questionnaire, providinginsights into decisions involving treatment, screening, andvarious health practices that can help guide the developmentand provision of effective healthcare services.Purpose: The purposes of this article were to develop and toimplement a narrative research approach in a rehabilitationunit for older people to inform service development.Methods: This study applied a narrative research approach.Participants in this study were at least 65 years of age and werepatients in the target rehabilitation center. They were cognitivelyand physically able to communicate and give informed consentto participate. Patients were interviewed toward the end of theirstay at the rehabilitation center. A total of 28 patients wereinvited for the interview. Narrative interviewing skills were developedand used in data collection. Literature review and comparativemethod were used to analyze data.Results: Findings revealed researcher characteristics, includingrespect, understanding, and acceptance, as key attributesof success in conducting narrative work with the older people.Narrative interview skills were essential to sustain suchcharacteristics when collecting participant stories. It was foundthat participants who had been already assigned a dischargedate were more likely to participate in the narrative interview.Conclusions/Implications for Practice: Narrative approachesaim to provide an environment in which service users canexperience the development of services through their serviceutilization experience. The narrative research approach and thenarrative interview skills may help practitioners facilitate andcultivate person-centered nursing practice.