Each Healthtalk Australia project addresses a different health or health-related experience and is underpinned by qualitative research, using a rigorous methodology developed by the Health Experiences Research Group (HERG) at the University of Oxford.
We employ well-established methods of qualitative research which are rigorous and systematic.
We typically conduct 30-50 in-depth interviews with individuals concerning their personal experiences of living with a health condition, or caring for someone with a health condition. These interviews are usually conducted at home using audio and video recording equipment. We explore questions and problems that matter to people when they have a newly diagnosed health issue or when they are ill, or caring for someone who is ill.
People with as many different experiences as possible are interviewed. We recruit participants from both metropolitan and regional areas, and from different socio-economic and ethno-cultural backgrounds, religious affiliations, ages, gender, and sexuality. This way, we can make sure that a full range of perspectives is sampled.
Standardised research methods are used for analysing the interview data. The results are published as online resources hosted on our website and in peer-reviewed journals, and disseminated at conferences, in the media, and in reported to our funding bodies.
The findings are used to develop publicly accessible online resources on particular health or health-related conditions. Each online resource provides support and information for patients, their family and carers. Around 20-30 thematic summaries (‘Talking Points’) of what is important to interviewees are written. These are illustrated with video, audio and written excerpts from the interviews, as well as short summaries of each of our interviewees’ stories.
An Advisory Panel, comprising people with expertise or experience relevant to a given health condition, plays an important role guiding the development and conduct of the research. Members share their expertise in relation to recruitment, research materials, feedback on thematic summaries written for the online resource, and dissemination of research findings.
The online resources are also available for health professional education and professional development, and for informing person-centred policy development.