Embodiment of the interpersonal nexus: revealing qualitative research findings on shoulder surgery patients
Nel Glass, K Robyn Ogle
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy, VIC, Australia
Background: The paper reports on the importance of the interpersonal nexus within qualitative research processes, from a recent research project on patient experiences of shoulder surgery. Our aim is to reveal the importance of qualitative research processes and specifically the role of the interpersonal nexus in generating quality data. Literature related to the importance of human interactions and interpersonal communication processes in health-related research remains limited. Shoulder surgery has been reported to be associated with significant postoperative pain. While shoulder surgery research has investigated various analgesic techniques to determine key efficacy and minimization of adverse side effects, little has been reported from the patient perspective.
Methods: Following institutional ethics approval, this project was conducted in two private hospitals in Victoria, Australia, in 2010. The methods included a survey questionnaire, semistructured interviews, and researcher-reflective journaling. Researcher-reflective journaling was utilized to highlight and discuss the interpersonal nexus.
Results: This research specifically addresses the importance of the contributions of qualitative methods and processes to understanding patient experiences of analgesic efficacy and shoulder surgery. The results reveal the importance of the established research process and the interwoven interpersonal nexus between the researcher and the research participants. The interpersonal skills of presencing and empathetic engagement are particularly highlighted.
Conclusion: The authors attest the significance of establishing an interpersonal nexus in order to reveal patient experiences of shoulder surgery. Interpersonal emotional engagement is particularly highlighted in data collection, in what may be otherwise understated and overlooked qualitative findings in patient experiences of shoulder surgery.
Keywords: interpersonal, qualitative research, pain management, patient experiences, shoulder surgery
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