This chapter defines and introduces the different stages of the research process: from identifying a problem, to reviewing the literature; then developing a research question; designing a study; obtaining funding and ethical approval; recruiting participants; collecting and analysing data; and reporting and disseminating findings. This chapter outlines how users of health services, their carers and family members, and other members of the public can be involved in these different research stages, and demonstrates the impact that this involvement can have. Examples of different ways of involving and engaging public members in research studies are drawn from the Enhancing the Quality of User-Involved Care Planning in Mental Health Services (EQUIP) research programme.
Andrew C. Grundy
Kelly Rushton and Owen Price
A systematic review is a vital part of the research process. It forms a clear and rigorous summary of existing evidence relating to a treatment, presented in a useful and comprehensible way to inform other healthcare professionals’ decision-making. This chapter breaks down each stage of the systematic review process, inviting the reader to critically consider a range of methods and techniques for the inclusion and analysis of studies and their findings.
Helen Brooks, Penny Bee and Anne Rogers
Three main types of qualitative research methods were used within the EQUIP programme of work and these form the focus of this chapter: in-depth interviews, focus groups and observations. Throughout the chapter, the authors look at allied publications resulting from EQUIP as a way of providing examples of real life research to support the description of the methodological approaches provided. This chapter presents the three types of qualitative research methods, discusses the factors that influence the choice of research method, and gives practical advice on how to utilise qualitative research methods.
Helen Brooks, Penny Bee and Anne Rogers
This chapter provides an explanation of what qualitative data is, and gives examples of different analysis methods and the factors that influence how and why they are chosen. Analysing data by looking for common themes (known as thematic analysis) is one of the most common ways in which researchers approach data they have gathered. There are various criticisms levelled at qualitative analysis including issues relating to validity, reliability and credibility. Researchers can address these through a range of methods including triangulation of data, member validation, careful sampling and transparency of approach.
The fate of Namibian skulls in the Alexander Ecker Collection in Freiburg
This article explores the history of the Alexander Ecker Collection and situates it within the larger trajectory of global collecting of human remains during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This is then linked to the specific context of the genocide in then German South West Africa (1904–8), with the central figure of Eugen Fischer. The later trajectory of the collection leads up to the current issues of restitution. The Freiburg case is instructive since it raises issues about the possibilities and limitations of provenance research. At the same time, the actual restitution of fourteen human remains in 2014 occurred in a way that sparked serious conflict in Namibia which is still on-going four years later. In closing, exigencies as well as pressing needs in connection with the repatriation and (where possible) rehumanisation of human remains are discussed.
Transnational dynamics in post-genocidal restitutions
Taking its starting point from a socio-anthropological study combining biographical interviews, semi-structured interviews and ethnographic observations collected between 2016 and 2018 in Germany, France and the United States among Ovaherero and Nama activists, and also members of different institutions and associations, this article focuses on the question of human remains in the current struggle for recognition and reparation of the genocide of the Ovaherero and Nama from a transnational perspective. First, the text shows the ways in which the memory of human remains can be considered as a driving force in the struggle of the affected communities. Second, it outlines the main points of mismatches of perspective between descendants of the survivors and the responsible museums during past restitutions of human remains from German anthropological collections. Third, the article more closely examines the resources of Ovaherero in the United States in the struggle for recognition and reparation, the recent discovery of Namibian human remains in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the questions that it raises.
Overriding politics and injustices
Vilho Amukwaya Shigwedha
In October 2011, twenty skulls of the Herero and Nama people were repatriated from Germany to Namibia. So far, fifty-five skulls and two human skeletons have been repatriated to Namibia and preparations for the return of more skulls from Germany were at an advanced stage at the time of writing this article. Nonetheless, the skulls and skeletons that were returned from Germany in the past have been disappointingly laden with complexities and politics, to such an extent that they have not yet been handed over to their respective communities for mourning and burials. In this context, this article seeks to investigate the practice of ‘anonymising’ the presence of human remains in society by exploring the art and politics of the Namibian state’s memory production and sanctioning in enforcing restrictions on the affected communities not to perform, as they wish, their cultural and ritual practices for the remains of their ancestors.
Linda Davies and Gemma Shields
Evidence is needed to inform and guide the choices that healthcare organisations make in relation to how budgets are spent. The associated costs and benefits of health treatments are key components of such decisions. An economic evaluation is a way of systematically identifying the costs and benefits of different health activities and comparing these to make an informed decision about the best course of action based on the evidence available. Economic evaluations can also be used to identify uncertainty around the likely costs of a particular health activity and to compare this against a ‘willingness to pay’ threshold, in order to judge their value for money. This chapter examines the key parts of economic evaluations and the data that feed into them, and considers how the results of economic evaluations can be interpreted.