Researching experiences of cancer: the importance of methodology

V. Entwistle, J.Q. Tritter, M. Calnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper draws on contributions to and discussions at a recent MRC HSRC-sponsored workshop 'Researching users' experiences of health care: the case of cancer'. We focus on the methodological and ethical challenges that currently face researchers who use self-report methods to investigate experiences of cancer and cancer care. These challenges relate to: the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of research; participation rates and participant profiles; data collection methods (the retrospective nature of accounts, description and measurement, and data collection as intervention); social desirability considerations; relationship considerations; the experiences of contributing to research; and the synthesis and presentation of findings. We suggest that methodological research to tackle these challenges should be integrated into substantive research projects to promote the development of a strong knowledge base about experiences of cancer and cancer care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-237
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002


  • research methodology
  • cancer care
  • patient experiences
  • experiences of care provision
  • user involvement


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