Private memoirs: the use of aide memoire diaries in longitudinal research.

Denham, Sara and Taylor, Ruth and Humphrey, Tracy (2017) Private memoirs: the use of aide memoire diaries in longitudinal research. Nurse Researcher, 25 (2). pp. 30-33. ISSN 2047-8992

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Aim: A discussion of the use of diaries as an aide memoire for women participants in a study that explored the quality of maternity care through women’s views and experiences of the care they received at Scottish Community Maternity Units. Background: Diaries are traditionally used as contemporaneous data gathering tools, frequently in combination with interviews. This article reviews diary use in longitudinal studies and describes how diaries were used by the study participants as a personal record to enhance interview recall, but not collected for analysis. Design: A qualitative longitudinal study using semi-structured interviews informed by private aide memoire diaries at key stages in the women’s maternity journey. Findings: The diaries were used by the women to enhance recall and reflection of sensitive mental health issues and the complex decision making process of where to give birth during their interviews. Conclusion: The use of ‘aide memoire’ diaries was an effective way of enhancing the quality of data collected during interviews seeking an understanding of the participants’ experiences of care over time. This form of diary use would be useful for longitudinal research in different contexts with additional applications for patients experiencing longterm care and associated personal decision making as an ‘aidememoire’ of their experiences throughout their care.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: This is the final author manuscript version. The version of record can be found at :
Keywords: data collection, diary, experiences, interview, longitudinal, maternity care, qualitative
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (for research post September 2011)
Depositing User: Professor Ruth Taylor
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2017 15:29
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2017 09:54

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