Exchange and equality during data collection: relationships through story sharing with lesbian mothers
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Exchange and equality during data collection: relationships through story sharing with lesbian mothers

Brenda Hayman PhD candidate and lecturer, University of Western Sydney, Australia
Lesley Wilkes Professor, University of Western Sydney/Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, Australia
Debra Jackson Professor, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Elizabeth Halcomb Associate professor, University of Western Sydney, Australia

Aim To explore how reciprocity is achieved through a method of self-disclosure, namely story sharing.

Background Self-disclosure through story sharing promotes trusting relationships between researchers and participants that support the collection of high quality data, particularly when participants are members of a marginalised group and may feel especially vulnerable when sharing sensitive information.

Data sources A qualitative study that examined the experiences of lesbian mothers.

Review methods Strategies were carefully and deliberately implemented to engage in story sharing with the participants.

Discussion Participants said that it made a positive difference to how safe and comfortable they felt once they knew at least some of the researcher’s story.

Conclusion The collection of rich data is improved by using story sharing as a means of establishing reciprocity in qualitative research.

Implications for practice/research Story sharing has the potential to improve the quality of the data collected in qualitative studies. However, strategies that promote the emotional safety of the researcher in this context will need further exploration.

Nurse Researcher. 19, 4, 6-10. doi: 10.7748/nr2012.

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

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