Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Using poetry in a critically reflexive action research co-inquiry with nurses

Hopkinson, Clare



© The Author(s) 2015 Reprints and permissions There are few reports of healthcare action research using collaborative or co-operative inquiry (co-inquiry) while research featuring poetry is also rare. This paper presents a cycle from a critically reflexive action research co-inquiry that explored the tensions and possibilities of nurses’ reflecting during care-giving where poems emerged as data. These poems were inspired by reflections, observations, co-inquirers’ stories and interviews. They formed part of a first-, second- and third-person co-inquiry. Applying Bourdieu’s concepts of doxa, habitus and field to the poems revealed cultural aspects of nursing practice. The poems resonated with nurses’ experiences producing deeper conversations and powerful reflexive co-inquiries about practice. The poems evoked suppressed emotions and empathy. I argue poems derived from practice are embodied knowledge and thus have a legitimate place in healthcare action research. Practice-based poems could be valuable for other practice-orientated professions in producing practice learning and change.


Hopkinson, C. (2015). Using poetry in a critically reflexive action research co-inquiry with nurses. Action Research, 13(1), 30-47.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2015
Journal Action Research
Print ISSN 1476-7503
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 1
Pages 30-47
Keywords poetry, embodied knowledge, habitus and field, reflexive, co-inquiry, collaborative action research, emotions, emotional labour
Public URL
Publisher URL


Using Poetry with Nursesv5.doc (156 Kb)

You might also like

Downloadable Citations