Table 1

Approaches to participant observation7

MethodApproach
Complete observerCovert approach, the researcher is detached and invisible to the participants.
Observer-as-participantOvert approach, researcher role is to undertake research with brief exposure to collect observation data, often used for exploration in follow-up interviews.
Participant-as-observerOvert approach, the researcher aims to integrate into the setting and their role within the context of the study is acknowledged.
Complete participantCovert approach, the researcher is fully immersed and integrated into the setting, referred to as going native, without disclosing themselves as a researcher.