Participant Observation as a Methodology in Health Psychology to Study the Practice of Health Care on Diabetes Mellitus


  • N. Gomes
  • V. Filho
  • C. Telle
  • K. Reschke


Background Participant observation refers here to a specific health psychology research methodology in which the researcher takes on a role of participant observer in the practice of health care under observation into natural situation of daily work of diabetes therapy. The researcher immerses him/herself in the institutional context and into the health care setting in order to experience with the other(s) professional(s) the daily routine of the treatment and prevention with patients on carrier of this illness. Method Studying the reality of doctor patient communication in the field of diabetes mellitus the researcher try to comprehend the motives and meanings of the subject´s actions from the viewpoint of those involved. On everyday lives questions may be propose: How this health care practice is been occurring? How the accompaniment of the therapeutic and prevention process is been working? This accompaniment is been working successfulness? How the relationship between professionals and patients take place? There is a dialogical communication in this interaction? Which events seem to be relevant in this context? To register the observations and data collection the researcher generally use techniques resources as field notes, self-analyses notes, reflexivity journal, interviews. Findings and Discussion The assemblage of those registered informations is organized and analysed according to health psychology theoretical reference on treatment and prevention in diabetes mellitus, type II. The results of this study must be discussed with the group where the participant observation takes place. Nevertheless, the results are relative to local and institutional micro-analyse. The research results are compared with the others been realised in similar organisational context and methodology and will be transformed in the education of patient - doctor communication in Brazil.






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