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ResourcesHuman Research EthicsI’m Okay, You’re Okay?: Reflections on the Well-Being and Ethical Requirements of Researchers and Research Participants in Conducting Qualitative Fieldwork Interviews (Papers: Wendy Mitchell and Annie Irvine 2008)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

I’m Okay, You’re Okay?: Reflections on the Well-Being and Ethical Requirements of Researchers and Research Participants in Conducting Qualitative Fieldwork Interviews (Papers: Wendy Mitchell and Annie Irvine 2008)

 


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Abstract: In this paper the authors present their reflections on a U.K. government–funded study exploring mental health and employment. Conducting research on a sensitive theme with a potentially vulnerable group gave renewed focus to some social research issues, including consent and control, rapport building, managing and responding to emotion, and offering appropriate longer term support. The researchers discuss their personal approaches and experiences (practical, methodological, ethical) during and after the fieldwork process. In the paper the authors highlight some of the challenges they faced and discuss how these were addressed and managed, sometimes differently, and not always resolved. They demonstrate the need for researchers to be aware of their “research footprint,” in particular the need to be reflexive and responsive to participants’ emotional well-being, and for funders and employers to also be sensitive to and mindful of the demands of social research, including impacts on researchers’ well-being.

Keywords: fieldwork practice, face-to-face interviews, participant well-being, researcher well-being, interview reciprocity, research footprint

Authors’ note:  We thank the 40 people who participated in interviews with us for the Mental Health and Employment study. Each one of them made a valuable contribution to project. We would also like to thank Simon Gilbody, Professor of Psychological Medicine and Health Services Research, for his advice and support for the project, and Anne Corden, Senior Research Fellow, for constructive comments on earlier drafts of this paper. The views expressed in the article are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the research funding body (The Department for Work and Pensions).

Mitchell W & Irvine A (2008) I’m Okay, You’re Okay?: Reflections on the Well-Being and Ethical Requirements of Researchers and Research Participants in Conducting Qualitative Fieldwork Interviews. International Journal of Qualitative Methods December 2008 vol. 7 no. 4 31-44
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277172512_I%27m_Okay_You%27re_Okay_Reflections_on_the_Well-Being_and_Ethical_Requirements_of_Researchers_and_Research_Participants_in_Conducting… (accessed Feb 4, 2016).
Publisher (Open Access): http://ijq.sagepub.com/content/7/4/31.full#sec-1



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