Exploring the use of vignettes: from validity to trustworthiness

Qual Health Res. 2007 Sep;17(7):954-62. doi: 10.1177/1049732307306187.


In this article one of the authors presents her experience of using vignettes in an action research case study, with particular emphasis on their trustworthiness. The research was carried out with a group of health care professionals who were working together to improve preoperative education for patients awaiting a hip replacement in one National Health Service Trust in the United Kingdom. The authors describe the exploration of three types of vignette--napshots, portraits, and composites--as a means of collecting, analyzing, and representing data. They provide an example of each and briefly present their evaluative use by the health care professionals. The vignettes were constructed to provide one account of the truth that was representative of events. Within this representation was the writer, researcher, and reader feature. The vignettes stimulated reflection and analysis within the action research cycle and thus contributed to the improvement of practice.

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Qualitative Research*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Trust*
  • United Kingdom