Recruiting and Retaining Participants in a Longitudinal Qualitative Study

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Since 2010 I have acted as the full-time researcher on a longitudinal qualitative study which has been following the transition experiences of over 80 young people in the UK who have a visual impairment. When I first started working with these participants they were aged 14-16, and I have now been working with them for 6 years. There are over 60 of the participants who have remained active in the research study and contribute to two interviews per year. This is despite the changing environments they have experienced such as moving to university or starting their first job. The aim of the research has been to assess how prepared these young people were for employment and adulthood having left compulsory education by tracking their experiences through various pathways such as Further Education, Higher Education, apprenticeships and the labour market.
This case study explores firstly what exactly longitudinal qualitative studies are, including their strengths and weaknesses and their value in researching transition. It then discusses some of the techniques which are recommended by researchers for retaining and engaging participants in longitudinal studies, before examining the practical approaches which I took in order to retain these participants.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSAGE Open
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Invited peer-reviewed case study for Sage Research Methods
Featured case study in Sage Methods Minutes News in May 2017


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