Amelia Tuipulotu

The cyclical collaborative processes in the Tongan context

Principal Supervisor: Associate Professor Maureen Boughton
Associate Supervisor: Professor Jill White

Cyclical collaborative action research was chosen as the principal method to collect data to develop guidelines for nursing practice in Tonga. This collaborative nature leads to group decisions, resulting in a commitment to change and consequently to improvement (Somekh 2006; Speziale and Carpenter 2007).

The cyclical collaborative data collection in practice

To investigate the challenge of the cyclical collaborative data collection methodology the following processes were undertaken in the current project.

  1. Ten co-researchers accepted the invitation to participate in the current project. They represent the three sections of the Nursing Division of Tonga and its hierarchical structure.
  2. Four meetings were conducted with 10 co-researchers in each group.
  3. There was a critical evaluation of each of these meetings of 10 co-researchers.
  4. The groups were reduced to only 5 co-researchers (instead of 10) and 2 groups were formed.
  5. The 2 groups were amalgamated to determine the verification of major findings.

Although challenges were encountered during this project, due to the cyclical collaborative nature of the research design, the joint work with stakeholders as co-researchers (insider-participants) during the data collection resulted in a great benefit for development of practice guidelines for nursing practice in Tonga. Strong themes such as teamwork, sound knowledge, good communication, good customer service and provision best care have emerged from the current data.

Ultimately it is hoped that the collaborative nature of this current research design will lead to better control over practice, as well as commitment to improvement (Somekh 2006; Speziale and Carpenter 2007); and therefore in an improvement in nursing practice and health outcomes of the People of Tonga.