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Can digital stories go where palliative care research has never gone before? A descriptive qualitative study exploring the application of an emerging public health research method in an indigenous palliative care context.

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Williams, Lisa 
Gott, Merryn 
Moeke-Maxwell, Tess 
Black, Stella 
Kothari, Shuchi 


BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for global approaches to palliative care development. Yet it is questionable whether one-size-fits-all solutions can accommodate international disparities in palliative care need. More flexible research methods are called for in order to understand diverse priorities at local levels. This is especially imperative for Indigenous populations and other groups underrepresented in the palliative care evidence-base. Digital storytelling (DST) offers the potential to be one such method. Digital stories are short first-person videos that tell a story of great significance to the creator. The method has already found a place within public health research and has been described as a useful, emergent method for community-based participatory research. METHODS: The aim of this study was to explore Māori participants' views on DST's usefulness, from an Indigenous perspective, as a research method within the discipline of palliative care. The digital storytelling method was adapted to include Māori cultural protocols. Data capturing participant experience of the study were collected using participant observation and anonymous questionnaires. Eight participants, seven women and one man, took part. Field notes and questionnaire data were analysed using critical thematic analysis. RESULTS: Two main themes were identified during analyses: 1) issues that facilitated digital storytelling's usefulness as a research method for Māori reporting on end of life caregiving; and 2) issues that hindered this process. All subthemes identified: recruitment, the pōwhiri process, (Māori formal welcome of visitors) and technology, related to both main themes and are presented in this way. CONCLUSION: Digital storytelling is an emerging method useful for exploring Indigenous palliative care issues. In line with a Health Promoting Palliative Care approach that centres research in communities, it helps meet the need for diverse approaches to involve underrepresented groups.



Digital storytelling, End of life care, Indigenous palliative care, Kaupapa Māori, Māori, Palliative care, Research methods, Adult, Aged, Cultural Competency, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Narration, Palliative Care, Population Groups, Public Health, Qualitative Research, Research Design, Surveys and Questionnaires

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BMC Palliat Care

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC