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F17 An ethnographic protocol for exploring social function during a pandemic
  1. Alex Fisher1,2,
  2. Anna Lavis2,
  3. Hugh Rickards1,2,
  4. Sheila Greenfield2
  1. 1Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK


Aim How does social cognition express itself in everyday life from the perspective of people with HD and their companions

Method Ethnography requires the researcher to become embedded over time in the community with the focus of observing what is being done. In the ongoing pandemic, ethnography still has the same aims but has had to move partially online. Virtual methods reflect the spaces that many people now inhabit but the tension for this study will be the limitations on equality of participation for people with HD but also the true extent of their social being beyond the screen.

This protocol has been designed to try and counteract these issues.

Participants will choose the type and number of fieldwork sessions to suit their skills, routine, tolerance and may include:

  • Home visits to undertake observations of daily life

  • Participatory interactions such as walking

  • Completing a series of prompts or tasks on aspects of social interaction online

Video/voice/photo elicitation i.e. as above but the elicitation takes place outside of a ‘live’ on line format and the participant/s sends them to the researcher in their own time

Participants keep diaries or notes and send them to the researcher outside of scheduled sessions

Outcome Hybrid ethnographic methods will show how social cognition is constructed in the life world of people with HD addressing the empirical gap which currently exists in the literature but recognising the latter limitations

  • ethnography
  • pandemic
  • virtual
  • online
  • social cognition
  • social functioning
  • limitations

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