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Part 2: a qualitative description of participation in an eight-week infant skin integrity study

02 May 2021
Volume 29 · Issue 5



This is the second paper in a two-part series; the first paper was published in volume 29, issue 4 of the British Journal of Midwifery. The qualitative phase of the Baby Skin Integrity Comparison Survey (BaSICS) study was designed to address a dearth of information about research recruitment and retention, and how mothers make decisions about neonatal skincare.


The aim of the qualitative phase of the BaSICS study was to explore participants’ experience of participating in the research and how this interrelated with the experience of newborn skincare.


Semi-structured, face-to-face or telephone interviews were used to collect data. Interviews were transcribed verbatim. Data analysis used both software and manual methods.


Motivation included both altruism and personal benefits. The bespoke smartphone application was a convenient and easy tool for data collection, and being afforded full responsibility for observing and recording infant skin condition increased mothers' awareness of skin changes. Family, friends and the internet were the most commonly used sources of information about baby skincare.


The qualitative interview component of the BaSICS study provided information that could not have been deduced from the daily survey and final questionnaire alone. This provides valuable guidance for future research in the field of infant skincare.

Part 2 of this paper presents and discusses the final three themes from the qualitative phase of a larger research project, the Baby Skin Integrity Comparison Survey (BaSICS). As stated in part 1 of this paper, ‘the primary phase of the study, with a sample of 698 mother/baby pairs, sought to determine whether variations occurred in the incidence of IDD (infant diaper dermatitis or nappy rash) when different brands of baby wipes were used during nappy changes' (MacVane Phipps et al, 2021a). The methods of the study are detailed in part 1 of this paper. It is recommended that the two parts be read together to gain a comprehensive picture of the qualitative phase of the BaSICS study.

The final phase of the BaSICS project was designed as qualitative descriptive research (Sandelowski, 2000; Chafe, 2017). Reporting on this project made use of the participants' own words to provide open and accessible insights into their experiences, unfiltered by researchers' interpretations. Researchers elicited information with the use of two main questions: ‘what was your experience of being a research participant?’ and ‘what was your experience of caring for your baby's skin?’. Suggested prompts helped interviewers to draw out more detailed information from the mothers they interviewed (see Appendix). This is discussed in greater detail in part 1.

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