cultural competence, epilepsy, hidden population, low- and middle-income country, methodological challenges, qualitative research, research ethics, sensitive topic



  1. von Gaudecker, Jane R.


ABSTRACT: International qualitative researchers confront many challenges while conducting studies among hidden populations. This article describes challenges experienced as a US-based researcher and native Indian woman conducting a focused ethnography among women with epilepsy in rural south India. The 5 challenges encountered during this research were (1) obtaining ethical approvals to conduct the study, (2) recruiting hidden participants, (3) being a halfie, (4) addressing a sensitive topic with a vulnerable population, and (5) managing researcher distress and intrapersonal conflicts. The article also details strategies used to confront these challenges.