Aide-memoire diaries in longitudinal research
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Aide-memoire diaries in longitudinal research

Sara Helen Denham Consultant midwife, NHS Grampian and Robert Gordon University, Scotland
Ruth Taylor Pro vice chancellor (student experience) and dean, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, England
Tracey Humphrey Dean Of school, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland

Background Diaries can be used as contemporaneous tools for gathering data, frequently in combination with interviews. However, diaries can also be used by study participants as personal records to improve their recall during interviews, without having to be collected for analysis.

Aim To discuss the use of diaries as aide-memoires by participants in a study exploring women’s views and experiences of the quality of maternity care they received in community maternity units in Scotland.

Discussion The use of aide-memoire diaries was an effective way to enhance the quality of data collected during interviews.

Conclusion This use of diaries would help longitudinal research in different contexts, including long-term care, as an aide-memoire to help participants recall their experiences throughout their care.

Implications for practice Aide-memoire diaries provide a private platform for contemporaneously and honestly recording participants’ reflective accounts throughout their experiences of care.

Nurse Researcher. 25, 2, 30-33. doi: 10.7748/nr.2017.e1508


Conflict of interest

None declared

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Received: 03 July 2016

Accepted: 26 April 2017

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