Introduction: This paper describes collaborative relationships between anthropologists and neonatologists engaged to research prematurity in a long term study to assess health outcomes related to preterm individuals born in 1990s in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Objective: To describe how collaboration took place, considering the discussion between anthropologists and neonatologists about qualitative methods and findings and the researchers dialogue within each discipline during different moments from research process.
Design: Descriptive and qualitative study.
Setting: Hospital Prof. Dr. J. P. Garrahan, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Methods: Qualitative techniques on research process: participant observation, observation and interviews with patients (adolescents and youth born preterm, median age was 18.5±2.3 years old) and researchers (two female neonatologists).
Results: At the first moment, neonatologist thought anthropological perspective as a “complement” of the “real” study made with quantitative methods. But when the results from the group interviews started to show up, neonatologists realized that they never had the opportunity to hear their patient's voice. So that, anthropological perspective allowed neonatologists to build new relationships with their patients and to think new ways to organize care practices at neonatology hospital teams.
Conclusions: Qualitative methodology allowed creation of a space for mutual recognition and reflection for patients and researchers. Collaboration is constructed not only between researchers, but also in the relationships with interviewed patients. Collaboration can only be constructed when researcher's preconceptions are visualized and there is a permanent dialogue during the investigation process.
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