The lived experience of Glue Ear: voices of mothers and young people

  • Carmel Capewell

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This qualitative research enabled the participants (three young people, aged nine to fourteen years, and seven mothers) to explain their experience of living with long-term Glue Ear. As far as I could ascertain this is the first research in which young people and their mothers have led the researcher in exploring their experience. This innovative research illustrates the effects of the condition at home and school. It provides insight into participants’ views of interactions with healthcare and educational professionals. Photovoice is usually used with groups, but in this research it was successfully adapted to enable individual participants to reflect on their experience. The data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to keep the focus on each participant’s words. Innovatively combining these two methodologies provided depth to both the data gathering and the data analysis. Five healthcare and educational professionals were interviewed to understand their perspective. The contribution of this research is that the methodology enabled young people and their mothers to reflect on their experience and lead the researcher in understanding the impact Glue Ear had on their day-to-day life. It highlighted the need for educational professionals to receive more formal training about Glue Ear’s potential educational and social impacts and to potentially adapt their teaching and learning practices to better support affected students. Young people and their parents demonstrated that they have valuable information to contribute to decisions about their healthcare and education requirements and would welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with such professionals.
    Date of Award2014
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Northampton
    SupervisorJane E M Callaghan (Supervisor) & S Ralph (Supervisor)

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