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Author: Jan Woodhouse
Date: April 2012
Journal: Nurse Researcher
Issue: Volume 19, Number 3
Keywords: Visual methodology, images, drawings, research, image analysis, visual terminology
Aim: To explore the use of visual methodology in nursing.
Background: Interest in the use of visual methodologies is increasing and its use can be adopted in healthcare research.
Data sources: Commentary on a study that used drawings to explore stress busting behaviours in nursing students.
Review methods: Drawing from the literature and practical experience, the paper explores the traditions of visual research and aspects such as terminology, analysis, ethical issues, the advantages and disadvantages of the methodology, and the implications of using visual methodology.
Discussion: Visual methodology revealed information that perhaps would not be elicited by interviews or questionnaires. Dialogue should take place, along with images, to ensure correct interpretation.
Conclusion: Digital technology enables the use of visual methodology, which is new in health care and can offer many opportunities to researchers.
Implications for research/practice: Visual research methodologies have the potential to expand in nursing research because of their range of data collection and analytical frameworks and because of the possibility of working with the participant.
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