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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Participatory research with women in the perinatal period: Considerations for reflexive, community-oriented and power-sensitive research practices
Author(s): Frances, Tanya
Lucas, Siân E
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Keywords: reflexivity
participatory methods
perinatal care
community care
Issue Date: 7-Nov-2023
Date Deposited: 16-Nov-2023
Citation: Frances T & Lucas SE (2023) Participatory research with women in the perinatal period: Considerations for reflexive, community-oriented and power-sensitive research practices. <i>Qualitative Social Work</i>.
Abstract: This article provides an account of using reflexive participatory methods including study advisory group membership to evaluate a perinatal wellbeing service in an economically deprived area of Scotland. There is little qualitative research that explores the experiences of women accessing perinatal mental health services. This article draws on feminist values and narrative theory to explore the practice, process and ethics of using participatory methods with women in the perinatal period. We explore the blurring of intervention and research group boundaries to consider the service and study advisory group as a space which provided the conditions for collective care and re-storying the self. We explore the study advisory group as an extension of the intervention itself, highlighting the role of community in research practices and in interventions, for women who experience perinatal mental health difficulties. We reflect on the ‘sticky’ practice of navigating epistemic and decision-making power in participatory research, including the dual positionalities of being two academic researchers who come to research with therapeutic training in counselling, psychotherapy and social work. We call for reflexive, community-oriented and flexible approaches when using participatory methods with populations that might be considered vulnerable, marginalised or stigmatised.
DOI Link: 10.1177/14733250231214203
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
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