The combined use of diaries and interviewing for the collection of data in midwifery research
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Authors: Way, S.
Journal: Evidence Based Midwifery
Background: This paper discusses the combined use of diaries and interviewing for the collection of data, using examples from a PhD study that explored the feelings, perceptions and experiences of women in relation to their perineum following childbirth. Method: A midwife-led antenatal clinic in the south of England was used as a base for the recruitment, which began following ethics approval from the local research ethics committee and NHS trust. Women were asked to keep a diary for ten days following the birth of their baby and describe what affect their perineum had on being able to carry out daily living activities. The same women were then invited to explore in more detail via interview the experiences they had described. Using a grounded theory approach, women were initially recruited by means of purposeful sampling, but as important issues emerged recruitment continued using theoretical sampling. Sample size was determined when theoretical saturation was reached, which was achieved after 14 women - six primiparous and eight multiparous - were recruited to the study. Results: The diary: diary-interview gave women the opportunity to write about their experiences at the time they were happening, as well as enabling expansion of those experiences at a later date, through the interview process. Recommendation: The diary: diary-interview is a useful research approach for seeking a more profound understanding of the experience of individuals in a healthcare setting. © 2011 The Royal College of Midwives.