Supporting researchers conducting qualitative research into sensitive, challenging, and difficult topics: Experiences and practical applications.

Journal article


Silverio, S.A., Sheen, K.S., Bramante, A., Knighting, K., Koops, T.U., Montgomery, E., November, L., Soulsby, L.K., Stevenson, J.H., Watkins, M., Easter, A. and Sandall, J. (2022). Supporting researchers conducting qualitative research into sensitive, challenging, and difficult topics: Experiences and practical applications. International Journal of Qualitative Methods. 21, pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1177/16094069221124739
AuthorsSilverio, S.A., Sheen, K.S., Bramante, A., Knighting, K., Koops, T.U., Montgomery, E., November, L., Soulsby, L.K., Stevenson, J.H., Watkins, M., Easter, A. and Sandall, J.
Abstract

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.

Keywordsqualitative research, interviews, focus groups, sensitive information, supervision, researcher burnout, research fatigue, secondary trauma, traumatic stress, qualitative praxis, qualitative methods, researcher safety and wellbeing
Year2022
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Methods
Journal citation21, pp. 1-16
PublisherSage
ISSN1609-4069
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/16094069221124739
Web address (URL)https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/16094069221124739
Publication dates
Online08 Sep 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Sep 2022
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Open
Accepted author manuscript
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Controlled
Additional information

Kyaw, L. (2022, September 9). New guidance published on how best to support qualitative researchers. [Press Release]. King’s College London Press Office – Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine News: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/new-guidance-published-on-how-best-to-sup...

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