The Health and Social Consequences of the 2001 Foot and Mouth Epidemic in North Cumbria
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Discussion groups and interviews

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diary extract

As each panel group was recruited a group discussion was held, followed as soon as possible by in-depth interviews in respondents’ homes (occasionally workplaces). These taped interviews were generally between 45 minutes and I hour 20 minutes duration, most lasted around an hour. Interviews began with broad, open questions ("What was your first memory of the FMD outbreak"?) and many transcripts contain long, uninterrupted stories about living with the epidemic. During this visit the first four blank diaries were distributed and respondents could raise any queries which had not been resolved at their group meeting. Monthly visits were made over the succeeding 18 months to collect diaries and offer the small agreed payment. A regular project newsletter for panel members was produced to give updates on the process of the research and this ran to 10 issues.

The diarist newsletter

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