By C. Osmund. Tri-State University.

The client may not know some of these terms or may have a very literal meaning for the word discount lotrisone 10 mg line. For example generic lotrisone 10 mg fast delivery, a client was found to under­ stand the word chicken but not the category name ‘poultry’ (Doak generic lotrisone 10 mg, Doak and Root 1996) cheap lotrisone 10mg on line. Visual displays of numerical information Clients may have difficulty with interpreting graphic displays of numerical information order lotrisone 10 mg line. Tables and graphs require the reader to make comparisons between data and recognise any patterns. The meaning is often not appar­ ent and needs to be inferred by the reader. There is also an assumption that the reader has a basic knowledge of the underlying rules of these types of display, for instance that the ‘x’ axis is compared with the ‘y’ axis. Here are some tips on preparing materials for clients with low literacy skills. Engage the reader ° Make the leaflet look easy to read by decreasing the amount of text and increasing the amount of space. Combine this with the use of personal pronouns to make the message feel more personal. Select a few key messages rather than overloading the reader with lots of information and small details. For example, rather than giving lots of detail about how exercise helps prevent heart disease, give specific ideas on appropriate physical activities. Help organise information ° Use headings to break text down into more manageable chunks for the reader. English as a second language The translation of written leaflets for clients into various languages is now fairly common. However, simply translating a text does not necessarily ad­ dress all the issues you need to consider for clients with a different cultural and ethnic background. Cultural differences in diet, religion, health be­ liefs and so on need to be considered right at the start of your planning. INFORMATION LEAFLETS FOR CLIENTS 113 You will need to consider the following. The person who makes decisions about the health care of the client may not necessarily be the client himself/herself. In some cultures it is the par­ ents (even when children have become adults) or the male head of the fam­ ily who will be making the decisions. You will need to plan your approach, language and style to engage these decision makers. People from different cultural backgrounds will vary in basic everyday lifestyle issues, like diet, clothes, religion and contraception, as well as in attitudes about social issues, such as family structure, sickness and death. The client’s experience of health care may be very different from the one in which you are working. For example, a school for children with special needs may have a very different connotation for the client, or he or she may come from a health care system where the idea of a prescription is un­ known. Clients may hold a certain view about how a health professional should behave and the role of the client in getting better. For example, do they see the health professional as the person making all the decisions? Approaches to learning vary between cultures and this may influence how material is presented. For instance, drawings may be held in high regard in one culture whereas another may view their use in materials as childish and degrading. We can all quote examples we have seen or heard of comic errors in transla­ tion. However, such errors in translation of health material may be more serious in their effect. A back translation, although costly, is probably the best way of ensuring that details are correct and that there are no omissions in the material.

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The researcher immerses herself into the community – the action is deliberate and intended to add to knowledge discount 10mg lotrisone with mastercard. The researcher participates in the community while obser- ving others within that community buy 10 mg lotrisone amex, and as such she must 101 102 / PRACTICAL RESEARCH METHODS be a researcher 24 hours a day buy 10mg lotrisone. In practice most research- ers find that they play more of a role as observer 10mg lotrisone for sale, than they do as a participant lotrisone 10mg on line. GAINING ACCESS Participant observation, as a research method, cannot work unless you’re able to gain access to the community that you wish to study. Before you spend a lot of time plan- ning your project you need to find out whether you can ob- tain this access. The level of negotiation required will depend upon the community, culture or context. If it is a culture with which you already have a certain amount of familiarity, and vice versa, you should find it easier to gain access. However, if it is a secret or suspicious community, youmayfinditmuchhardertogainaccess. If you do expect to encounter difficulties, one way to over- come this problem is to befriend a member of that com- munity who could act as a gatekeeper and help you to get to know other people. Obviously, it is important to spend time building up the required level of trust before you can expect someone to introduce you into their community. If it is not possible to befriend a member of the community, you may have to approach the person or committee in charge, firstly by letter and then in person. First impressions are important and you need to make sure that you dress and act appropriately within the community. Some people will be suspicious of the motives of a researcher, especially if they’re not familiar with the research process. In the early stages it is better to answer any questions or suspicions directly and honestly rather HOW TO CARRY OUT PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION/ 103 than try to avoid them or shrug them off. ETHICS Because of the nature of participant observation, there tends to be more issues involving ethics and morals to consider. As you intend to become part of a specific group, will you be expected to undertake anything illegal? This could happen with research into drug use or crime syndicates where people may not trust you until you be- come one of them and join in their activities. Would you be prepared to do this and put up with any consequences which could arise as a result of your activities? If the group is suspicious, do you intend to be completely honest about who you are and what you’re doing? How would you deal with any problems which may arise as a conse- quence of your deception? What if your participation within a group causes pro- blems, anxiety or argument amongst other members? Would you be prepared to withdraw and ruin all your hard work for the sake of your informants? Also, there are many personal considerations and dilemmas which you need to think about before undertaking participant obser- vation, as illustrated below: 104 / PRACTICAL RESEARCH METHODS PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS WHEN ENTERING THE FIELD Some people will not accept you. Are you prepared to spend many months studying others and not indulging in talk about yourself? Some researchers overcome this problem by making sure that they have someone outside the community who they can talk to if they need to. If you’re going to come across people with very different social and political beliefs, can you remain neutral and keep your opinions to yourself? Some researchers may try arguing their point in the hope that they will get more information and it will deepen their understand- ing. Are you prepared for the emergence of as yet uncon- scious emotional factors? You may find out things about yourself which you do not like, especially in terms of your own prejudices. Are you prepared to be used as a scapegoat if things go wrong within the community under study?

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