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Reflection in Dialogue: A Participatory Research Method to Engage Persons with
SSO:USA Annual Research Conference
  • Lynn Shaw, PhD, University of Western Ontario
  • Crystal Arnold, MSc, University of Western Ontario
Start Time
15-10-2009 2:00 PM
End Time
15-10-2009 3:30 PM
Introduction: Developing participatory research methods that can involve vulnerable persons in the research process is important for change (Friere, 1973). However, methods that engage persons with disabilities in the entire research process, as well as enable their voice and participation in social change, are not well documented. Our goal was to explore and document opportunities to include persons experiencing occupational disruptions in the research design, data collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of their narratives. Approach: Use of metaphors and reflection-indialogue (Shaw & Hunsberger, 2007) were combined to foster an in-vivo interpretation process between the researcher and the person with a disability. These methods were developed to be consistent with the needs and strengths of the person with a disability. The methods also support the examination of occupational transitions (Shaw & Rudman, 2009) to reveal the dynamics and processes of change or adaptation in reframing and reconstructing daily, and social activities in everyday life. Findings: Using metaphors and reflection-in-dialogue enabled the person with a disability to heighten their awareness of the meaning of their complex occupational transitions and transformations. Moreover, the use of these methods furthered their confidence in giving voice to their experiences in dialogue with others (Burden & Burdett, 2007) and through activism. While narrative research may serve to advance the understanding by health care professionals about the challenges and daily life difficulties for persons with chronic conditions in managing occupational disruptions, they also help the storyteller gain a deeper appreciation of their individual agency and opportunities to promote change. Potential Implications: In this presentation the delegates will be introduced to the methods of using metaphors and reflection-in-dialogue, to promote a deeper understanding of occupational transitions, in two narratives (Arnold, Shaw & Landry, 2009; Shaw & Hunsberger, 2007). Opportunities for using these methods to promote a deeper understanding of both personal agency and structural influences on transitions of persons with chronic disabilities in occupational transition research and healthcare practices, will be explored). Discussion and Conclusions: Promoting a deeper appreciation of transitions is important not only for researchers, but also for the participants sharing their narratives. Opportunities for both researcher and storyteller to learn and grow through partnering in research processes are paramount to advancing knowledge and understanding but also for achieving a truly authentic participatory approach.
Citation Information
Lynn Shaw and Crystal Arnold. "Reflection in Dialogue: A Participatory Research Method to Engage Persons with" (2009)
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