Collaborative partnerships to increase resilience among AIDS orphans: some unforeseen challenges and caveats
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Previous research has attested to the power of metaphor-rich stories to enable resilience during individual therapy, but this has not been researched in a group context. We aimed to ascertain if the reading of brief stories in a group setting, with no other thera-peutic intervention, would prove to be a valuable, inexpensive and accessible protective resource for the empowerment of AIDS orphans. We followed a quasi-experimental design, incorporating pre and post-test double control groups and a mixed methods approach to data collection. However, some very interesting methodological, ethical and practical challenges surfaced during implementation concerning: the meeting of community expectations; the identification of appropriate participant groups; the ad-ministration and suitability of research instruments; ensuring continued attendance of participants; and dealing with the emotional needs of participants without endangering the validity of the results. This article reports on these challenges and makes suggestions around issues that need to be resolved if future research partnerships with community members who care for AIDS orphans are to yield useful and valid research results.