Expanding the notion of researcher distress: The cumulative effects of coding

Academic Article


  • Qualitative researchers who explore the individual's experience of health, illness, death, and dying often experience emotional stress in their work. In this article, we describe the emotional stress we experienced while coding semistructured, after-death interviews conducted with 38 next of kin of deceased veterans. Coding sensitive topic data required an unexpected level of emotional labor, the impact of which has not been addressed in the literature. In writing this discussion article, we stepped back from our roles as interviewers/coders and reflected on how our work affected us individually and as a team, and how a sequence of exposures could exert a cumulative effect for researchers in such a dual role. Through this article, we hope to generate an expanded discourse on how qualitative inquiry impacts the emotional well-being of researchers. © The Author(s) 2011.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Woodby LL; Williams BR; Wittich AR; Burgio KL
  • Start Page

  • 830
  • End Page

  • 838
  • Volume

  • 21
  • Issue

  • 6