A multi-method approach to studying activity setting participation: integrating standardized questionnaires, qualitative methods and physiological measures
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PURPOSE: This study investigated the feasibility of integrating three diverse methods for studying disabled youth's experiences of activity settings: standardized questionnaires, qualitative methods and physiological measures. The article describes a case study of data collection in a real-life setting to outline the opportunities, challenges and lessons learned for future research. METHODS: The methods included (a) two newly developed quantitative measures of qualities of home and community activity settings (MEQAS) and youth experiences (SEAS); (b) youth-friendly qualitative methods, including photo-elicitation, observations, electronic interviews and face-to-face interviews; and (c) an innovative system to collect physiological data (the HEART system) that provided insight into the experiences of youth beyond other methods. RESULTS: The study demonstrated that these diverse methods measures can be practically combined to study activity setting participation experiences. The measures provided different types of data that informed one other and allowed a rich interpretation and deep understanding of the participant's experiences. We discuss practical lessons concerning the joint use of the three methods, lessons specific to each method, and lessons concerning next steps for integrating the data. CONCLUSIONS: Combined methodologies hold great promise for investigations of the participation experiences of disabled youth in future research.
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