Literature giving a ‘behind-the-scenes' view of community-based research is, at best, sparse. Most authors present only the finished product leaving others with the task of forever re-inventing the wheel. This paper provides a light-hearted account of the bittersweet experience of conducting a survey of community attitudes to mental illness. The survey was part of a controlled trial of an educational campaign for neighbours of residential facilities for mentally ill people. It involved Interviewing members of the local community in their own homes. The paper highlights common pitfalls and gives practical advice for the novice researcher.
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