Going home from hospital -- an appreciative inquiry study

Health Soc Care Community. 2002 Jan;10(1):36-45. doi: 10.1046/j.0966-0410.2001.00341.x.


This paper reports on a project that involved a number of agencies and groups, including older people, working together to examine and develop practice in an area of shared concern -- going home from hospital. The project was stimulated by a 'whole-system event', and was based on appreciative inquiry (AI) methodology, which has roots in both action research and organisational development. In AI, the research is directed towards appreciating what it is about the social world that is positive, and exploring this. The study was planned around three workshops to streamline data collection and analysis. Group members were also required to carry out some activities between workshops. Invitations were sent out to groups and individuals previously identified as involved or interested in the discharge process across one health district (n = 71). Workshop one discussed the planned research schedule, and introduced the basic concepts of AI. This workshop also took participants through the interview process. Each participant was asked to undertake two interviews. Thirty-five individual interviews and one focus group were completed. At workshop two, interview data were analysed by the group using the nominal group technique. Subsequent group discussion produced 'provocative propositions'. At the third workshop, provocative propositions were developed into action plans. This paper gives an overview of the study, and explores some of the issues involved when working with service users and providers as co-researchers.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Community Participation
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Research Design
  • Research*