Founded by anthropologists, ethnographic research is an integral part of what we do. Ethnography takes us into the lives of patients and professionals. It allows us to observe their everyday practices over time. It exposes us to what they say, and to what they do in their daily lives.
Ethnography allows participants to engage research on their terms. Written and video diaries provide participants a framework for recording experiences that are meaningful to them.
The value of ethnographic research – relative to ‘traditional,’ facility-based qualitative techniques – lies in the depth of the encounter. Meeting participants where they live, spending extended hours with them, and connecting with them on multiple occasions results in a richness of data and insight that a 50-minute telephone or facility-based sessions simply cannot achieve.