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Older people’s perspectives on dignity: the benefits and challenges of a qualitative longitudinal approach to researching experiences of later life

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-658
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Issue number6
Early online date16 Jan 2017
DateAccepted/In press - 19 Dec 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jan 2017
DatePublished (current) - 2 Nov 2017


This article discusses findings from a qualitative longitudinal study of dignity in later life, which focused on the perspectives of older people at a time when their need for help and support was increasing as a result of long-term illness. It reflects critically on the methodology for its ability to generate knowledge about this eventful and unstable period of the life-course. It is argued that a longitudinal qualitative approach provides the optimum conditions for researching older people’s perspectives on their health and illness as well as on their experiences of being helped and supported. It sheds light on the changes they faced in their relationships, their home environments and their daily lives as well as how they dealt with these changes while maintaining their dignity.

    Research areas

  • ageing, change, continuity, lifecourse, perseverance, precariousness, Qualitative longitudinal methods

    Structured keywords

  • Ageing and the Life Course

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Taylor and Francis at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 356 KB, PDF document


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