Mind maps: establishing ‘trustworthiness’ in qualitative research
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Mind maps: establishing ‘trustworthiness’ in qualitative research

Mark Whiting Consultant nurse, Hertfordshire Community Health Services, Hatfield, UK
David Sines Pro vice-chancellor and executive dean, Society and health, at Buckinghamshire New University, Uxbridge UK

Aim To present the use of mind maps as a way of seeking participant verification of an emerging theoretical framework.

Data sources Exploratory interviews, based on three pre-identified study themes – impact, need for help and support, and meaning and/or sense-making -were carried out with the parents of three sub-groups of children with disabilities or complex health needs. These were: children with disabilities, children with life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses, and children dependent on technology.

A random sample of participants was subsequently presented with a series of mind maps that represented the themes, categories and sub-categories (and the relationships between them) contained within a rich and complex dataset. Participants were invited to confirm or challenge elements of the mind maps to verify the researcher’s interpretation of their experiences when caring for their children.

Discussion Major areas of consistency were identified in the experience of parents of children across the three study sub-groups.

Conclusion Mind-maps are already well established as a tool for analysing complex data sets. This study offers a novel approach to the use of mind maps as a means of seeking participant verification of an emerging theoretical framework.

Implications for research/practice The use of mind maps when seeking participant verification of qualitative data will require further testing.

Nurse Researcher. 20, 1, 21-27. 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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