Interrupted or invigorated? Qualitative health research during the Covid-19 pandemic
12 May 2021
COVID-19 Policy & health systems Research methods & EBM
Gemma Hughes and Sara Paparini from the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences reflect on the work of the IRIHS group.
Members of the Interdisciplinary Research in Health Sciences (IRIHS) group gathered at an online workshop in January 2021 to consider how their work has changed during the pandemic. In the short time between planning the workshop and joining the Teams meeting on the day, the latest lockdown had been imposed in England in response to soaring numbers of Covid cases and deaths. Our attendance at the online workshop summed up 2020, a year of research interrupted. Interrupted by the mundane hindrances of WFH (working from home) with kids, families and pets and the life-changing experiences of isolation, illness and bereavement, our research has been challenged and changed. We connected online to discuss how we had adapted to the conditions imposed by the pandemic, the extent to which we had embraced new methods of undertaking qualitative research online and to start to identify theoretical work that could help account for and inform our future research practices. Some of our reflections on researching follow.