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Bundon, Andrea - Write Up

2009 Round 3

I am very grateful to the Disabilities Health Research Network for supporting my involvement in the 15th Annual Qualitative Health Research Conference in Vancouver.  Under the mentorship of my supervisor Dr. Laura Hurd Clarke (Sociology of Aging and Illness) and Dr. William Miller (Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy), I gained valuable experience, further developed my research skills, and had a paper accepted at a peer-reviewed, international and interdisciplinary conference.  This conference attract many scholars using qualitative methods to explore the experiences of people living and aging with disabilities and chronic conditions and, as a graduate student and a new researcher, it was both thrilling and inspiring to be included.  Our paper entitled “Something I enjoy doing and that I can do:  Older adults with multiple chronic conditions and the meaning of physical activity” was accepted in a session entitled “Older Adults” chaired by Christina Foss.  There was much interest in our findings that used Atchley’s (1989) theory of continuity in aging to explain the engagement/non-engagement in physical activity by older adults with limited abilities.

At the conference, I had the opportunity to explore the many innovative research methods that scholars are using to better understand the experiences of marginalized groups and connect their research into community networks in meaningful ways.  Of particular interest was the keynote address by Dr. Karl Atkin entitled “Meaningful patient stories:  The politics of doing qualitative research in multi-disciplinary contexts.”  His presentation provided many insights regarding how qualitative researchers can add value when working with a research team focused on an applied research project.

In summary, the Qualitative Health Research Conference provided me with the occasion to present work being done in British Columbia on the experiences of older adults aging with multiple chronic conditions to an international audience.  In addition to this exposure, the conference proceedings will be published in the highly regarded Qualitative Health Research journal.  The conference also afforded me personally with an opportunity for professional development.  I would like to thank the DHRN for recognizing and supporting the efforts of graduate students in British Columbia with programs such as the Graduate Student National Travel Subsidy Award.


International Award Winners: Chen, S., Faradaji, F., Gaudet, A., Hewapathirane, S., Inskip, J., Mikhail, D., Mills, P., Ramer, L., Simonette, G., Yiu, J.., Zwicker, J.
National Award Winners: Beirnes, K., Hume, A., Lige, S., Schiarti, V.