Boulton, Michael J.
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AbstractBackground: We are very individualistic in how we present ourselves to the world. Whilst we are healthy and self-caring we have control over the way we undertake self-groom. Once we need care the situation may change. In the setting of health and social care the emphasis has been on hygiene; aspects of personal grooming [PG] may be overlooked. Few studies exist in the health and social care literature that explore this crucial daily activity of living. Aim: This study aims to address the imbalance on what is known of PG. It seeks to thoroughly explore the concept of PG, identifying the normative activities involved, and the age-related behaviours that occur across the lifespan. Methods: Utilising a grounded theory [GT] methodology, an eclectic data collection approach was taken. Consequently a pilot group, four focus groups (child-focused; males 18-45; females 18-45; over-46), and a visual methodology formed the first phase of the study. The second phase consisted of a formal concept analysis, drawing on literature and data from the focus groups. The final phase of the study involved one-to-one semi-structured interviews with retired persons. A total of 26 participants took part in the study and both genders were represented. Analysis was undertaken using the range of coding consistent with a GT approach and the notion of constant comparison. Findings: New knowledge on PG emerged; an academic definition of PG; PG was found to have ‘four elements’: hygiene, appearance management behaviours, body modification and enhancement. There was a ‘spectrum’ of grooming recognised, which ranged from the wild, un-groomed state to that of being over-groomed. The term ‘allo-grooming’, which means grooming of another, was used to explore the part families play in social learning about PG. A timeline of PG behaviours was created to illustrate how PG changes over the lifespan. Additionally, information on grooming activities, other than those of hygiene, was recorded. Implications: PG is complex and the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach of concentrating on hygiene may not meet the needs of service users. Some body areas, for example, are not included in the published documents that help to guide care services. There appears to a gap in educational programmes of health and social care workers, in respect to PG. Recommendations for practice, policy, education and further research are proposed.
CitationWoodhouse, J. (2015). Personal grooming (beyond hygiene): a grounded theory study (Doctoral dissertation). University of Chester, United Kingdom.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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