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Qual Health Res. 1998 Nov;8(6):858-66.

Reflections on conducting qualitative research with elderly people.

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Faculty of Nursing, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia.


It should come as no surprise that conducting research with elderly people can be challenging and problematic. A review of the literature in this area provides some indication of what many other researchers have encountered, particularly in relation to doing quantitative studies. The majority of these challenges deal with issues involving consent. Although there have been a few articles dealing with doing qualitative research with this population, they were not informative in terms of preparing the author for day-to-day situations. This article is an attempt to redress some of this by sharing the author's experience of collecting data for a phenomenological study involving elderly people who reside in nursing homes. The aim is not to provide solutions but rather to highlight some of the challenges that confront qualitative researchers in this context.

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