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This paper demonstrates a method of collaborative drawing-based enquiry used to elicit experiential narratives in qualitative research. In the health sciences the method, which uses a drawing strategy embedded within in-depth interviews, can illuminate experiences of illness, treatment and interaction with health practitioners. Here it is applied to the experience of chronic vaginal thrush and associated use of complementary and alternative medicine. In the study reported here, images were created and interpreted by participants as part of the interview process and transcripts were analysed according to narrative methods. The results yielded themes in three areas of inquiry: the experience of chronic vaginal thrush and uses of bio-medical and complementary alternative medicine therapies. We argue that the method can be applied more widely to access and represent participant experiences of illness and that it has particular utility for researchers in health sciences who are working on sensitive topics and with vulnerable participants.

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Journal Article

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