Hello blogging world!

Hi and welcome to my shiny new blog site!

Last week’s  #phdchat twitter chat topic was on blogging about your research and I committed to starting to blog about my own research. I shall start with a little introduction to gently ease me in. I am currently registered as a part-time PhD Student at Edinburgh Napier University. I work full time as a lecturer at the university.

My PhD study is about the impact of a new diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) for the person diagnosed and their “support person”.  This is usually their partner or parent but this person was nominated by the person with MS.  The underpinning theory is that of biographical disruption (Bury, 1982), and loss of self in chronic illness (Charmaz, 1983) with my study hoping to contribute to the knowledge of how a diagnosis of MS impacts on how people affected assimilate this new identity and learn to live with it.

The study is qualitative, I have used a hermeneutic phenomenological approach most closely informed by Gadamer (1976).  I am currently analysing my data using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) by Smith, Flowers & Larkin (2009).  I am finding this approach to be extremely useful as it follows how I would intuitively approach analysing qualitative data but it also helps me to interrogate this further while along the way providing me with a useful audit trail of what I have done.

The phd process hasn’t been an easy route to follow, there have been many ups and downs along with way but being part of the #phdchat community has helped me see that this is quite normal and it is great to have this support available 24/7!