Divining for Water: Considerations for Methodology

  • Kerstin Roger University of Manitoba
  • Leslie Penner University of Manitoba


The authors explore the steps between conceptualizing a qualitative study based on Charmaz’s definition of grounded theory and carrying it out in the field. We reflect on how the reality of the vulnerable population to be studied (individuals living with a condition that involves neurological decline) required us to shift our original conceptualization, not only of the research question but of the recruitment and interview process as well. Other factors such as organizational gatekeeping, clinical procedures, university regulations as well as recruitment strategies are discussed. The authors reflect on the study of persons who are living with chronic conditions and end-of-life realities for whom research is not considered a priority. We discuss the sequential steps that had been envisioned for the study and the real -world conditions that required revisions to conduct the study. Recommendations emerge that will assist students and researchers alike when studying a similar vulnerable population.