Qualitative Health Psychology: Theories and Methods

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'This book constitutes a valuable resource for postgraduate students and researchers. Most...of the chapters succeed in providing a clear and comprehensive introduction to the various approaches and/or methods, thus enabling the reader to make an informed decision about whether or not they wish to pursue the topic further. The book as a whole is also very well referenced and this makes it a source of essential information for students and researchers with an interest in qualitative health psychology' - Health Psychology Update This book explains the role of qualitative research within health psychology. Theories and methods from a qualitative perspective are highly varied but, in general, differ from the positivist approach which is concerned with quantifying the individual risk factors presumed to cause health and illness behaviour. This book shows clearly how a qualitative approach offers a better understanding of the experience of illness while locating it in its broader social context. Providing a detailed examination of these issues, the book is organized into three sections - the first considers some of the main theoretical perspectives underlying qualitative research in health psychology including discourse analysis and narrative as well as the social context and embodiment of health and illness; the second examines some of the practical issues involved in conducting qualitative research with different populations, such as children and the terminally ill; and the final section considers a range of analytic issues and specific analytic approaches such as grounded theory and action research, and the evaluation of qualitative methods.