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Using Creative Qualitative Methods in Evaluating Gendered Health Promotion Interventions

By: & Published: 2020 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases: Medicine and Health
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This case study considers the use of creative methods that have been used in evaluation research to capture and explore the views of service users receiving support in the context of two gendered interventions. We outline the use of a cake metaphor and a simple writing exercise as creative data collection tools to use with focus group scenarios. The cake metaphor enabled women to describe one thing (the way a group worked) by using the analogy of another (the baking of a cake). The writing activity was a useful tool to report the stories of some women in an exact form, with words that came directly from them. These activities were designed to give service users voice, by more actively engaging them within data-making while we explored serious and emotional subject matter. We applied these methods as they are in keeping with the feminist values that underpin our approach to research, and they were viewed positively by our funders. The use of creative methods described here was combined with other traditional methods, not discussed in depth in this case study. The results from the writing activity were captured in photographs as well as a slide show with accompanying narrative. The metaphor work is more traditionally presented with descriptive themes as well as a photograph. We learned to be flexible and to consider the importance of both purpose and timing in using such tools.

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