Use of diary as a data collection method in health and social care research

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    Hi I am interesetd to know your views about use of “Diary by health care professionals as a data collection technique in health and social care research”. Could you identify emperical studies, weaknesses and strengths of diary use.

    Thanks, Sadiq

    Katie Metzler

    Louise Corti at Essex has put together a really useful web page outlining diary methods. Scroll down and you’ll see a list of useful resources to follow up on.

    Good luck!



    I’ve written about the use of Solicited Audio Diaries as data for understanding medical students’ identity formation -you might be interested in that?

    Jo Moriarty

    Hi there Sadiq


    A lot depends on the type of research you want to know about.  Quite a few studies have used diaries in a quantitative way to collect information about how people spend their time.  I like this article by Julia Johnson and Bill Bytheway because it really discusses the pros and cons and the practicalities of diaries:


    There is an older Canadian study of nurses by Ross et al, 1994:


    The increasing use of blogs means that they are a new source of diary type information. Here’s two examples of social worker diaries:


    Diaries are a good technique for conveying a sense of another person’s world:

    They also give the participant an opportunity for reflection.  However, you need to think about the practicalities of data collection.  Not everyone feels confident enough or that they have the time to write things down.  We thought about giving participants a recorder in one study so they could record their thoughts.  However, everyone was too geographically dispersed for it to be feasible and so we are asking them to talk about their last shift instead.


    It’s a while since you posted this so sorry if it’s no longer useful!





    Thanks very much Katie, Lynn & Jo for sharing such a useful and relevent information. Sadiq

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