Developing authentic mental health nursing research and practice
Karen Wright Principal lecturer, University of Central Lancashire
Taking on the role of researcher holds inherent challenges for a nurse. Karen Wright explains how writing a reflexive journal during one study helped her through the process
Throughout a project to research therapeutic relationships between women with anorexia and their care workers the author kept a reflexive account of the research, which included an exploration of her use of self and her own self-awareness. The therapeutic use of self, which is fundamental to nursing, is considered in the context of the simultaneous role of nurse researcher. The two roles can complement each other: sensitive researching is enhanced by nursing skills such as the therapeutic use of self, while research can heighten awareness, knowledge and compassion. Recognising and separating one’s own experiences, reactions and opinions is used together with continuing reflexive self-appraisal to ensure that collection and interpretation of qualitative data are not biased, and assumptions are not made. Authenticity is crucial to the process.
Mental Health Practice. 18, 4, 23-27. doi: 10.7748/mhp.18.4.23.e876Correspondence
This article has been subject to double blind peer reviewConflict of interest
Received: 28 March 2013
Accepted: 16 May 2014