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Studying Thai Traditional Postpartum Practices Using In-Depth Interviews and Participant Observations

By: , & Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases in Health
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A project was developed to study postpartum Thai women in the fall of 2005, when the first author (Prangthip Thasanoh Elter, P.T.E.) applied to PhD program at the University of California, San Francisco. Interpretive phenomenological approach was used to describe lived experience of first time Thai mothers in observing traditional practices after childbirth. P.T.E. lived in the study setting, an easternmost district lying on Thai-Laos border area, from October 2008 to September 2009. She conducted interviews and participant observations with 16 participants who followed restricted, hot, and uncomfortable practices. We will provide readers with project overview and background of the setting and participants followed by research practicalities focused on sampling and recruitment and building rapport. We describe how P.T.E. conducted interviews with examples of general questions and probes. We also provided an observation guide used during participant observations and how P.T.E. took part in traditional postpartum care as a learner. The most challenging issues were the entrée into the field during the pilot study, different languages used in interviews and transcripts, and intercontinental communications.

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Participant observation

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