Care by a Caregiver: The Use of Self in Research


  • Jennifer Christine Hughes Wright State University


Use of self in research, multiple sclerosis, caregiving, reflective journaling


This narrative reflective paper discusses a qualitative research study on multiple sclerosis (MS) caregiving in which the author/researcher utilized her own caregiving experiences and shared with the study participants in open dialogues. The paper examines the choice to research a topic with a close personal connection, i.e., the use of self in research. Moreover, this paper discusses the use of reflective journaling to gain greater awareness during the research process, and to assist with data analysis. Intimate passages from the journal are shared throughout the narrative concerning shared experiences, self-care, and topic analysis. Discussions are framed chronologically as before, during, and after the qualitative study was completed. The experience of caring for a partner with MS is central to this reflection, and the paper provides insight into that experience along with a discussion of the practice of using oneself in research.

Author Biography

Jennifer Christine Hughes, Wright State University

Assistant Professor of Social Work at Wright State Univesrity




How to Cite

Hughes, J. C. (2017). Care by a Caregiver: The Use of Self in Research. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 22(1), 17–29. Retrieved from