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Doing qualitative research: study design, sampling, data collection

Doing qualitative research: study design, sampling, data collection

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Doing qualitative research: study design, sampling, data collection

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  1. Doing qualitative research: study design, sampling, data collection Elizabeth Boyd, PhD EPI 240 January 15, 2008

  2. Recap: Using qualitative methods • To interpret, illuminate, illustrate • To understand why or how • To describe previously unstudied processes or situations • To learn about subjects who are few or hard to reach • To brainstorm ideas

  3. Meaning Context Unanticipated phenomena Process Explanations Opinions Attitudes Understandings Actions Research questions - what do you want to understand?

  4. Formulating research questions • Pub bias example • Your examples • Common problems: • Too broad • Impossible to find answers or ‘how to operationalize’ • Really asking a quantitative question

  5. Data collection • Based on what you want to know: • Where do you go to find out? • Site selection • Who do you ask/observe? • ‘Sample’ • What do you ask/do? • Data

  6. Choosing your site • Justification: why is this site the best for answering your research questions? • Naturalistic? • Ethnography; video • Public vs. private settings • Neutral? • Interviews; focus groups

  7. Choosing your site • Implications • Ethical • Role as researcher-caregiver • Logistic • How to gain access? • How to gather data?

  8. ‘Sampling’ • Who will you include in your study and why? • Everyone (ethnography) • Sample -- need sampling strategy • Random • Convenience • Purposeful • Typical • Hetereogenous • Extreme cases/comparisons

  9. Data collection • Once you have identified your site and participants, practical matters include: • Timing -- when to go/how long to stay? • Fitting in • Establishing relationships -- Who? How? How much? • Equipment: • Recording devices • Hand notes • Video/digital • Impact on participants • Cost/transportability/impact

  10. Quality in qualitative research • Two ‘phases’ -- data collection and write-up • Overall: quality = credibility • Credibility is achieved through depth, clarity, nuance

  11. Rich and sufficient data • Enough background to understand and portray full range of persons, processes, settings • Detailed description of range of views & actions -- multiple perspectives • Beyond superficial • Analytic categories -- complexity • Comparisons -- generative or general? • Saturation -- stop seeing new cases/instances

  12. Bottom Line • Regardless of the type of data you are working with, • Ground ALL observations, analyses in the particular details of your data

  13. Managing your data … • You’ve interviewed 10 (or 20, or 30, or 100) people, now what? • Transcription • Coding • Analysis

  14. Transcription • Written representation of the interview • Types of transcription: • “Cleansed” transcript • “Just the words” • “Jeffersonian” transcript

  15. The “cleansed” transcript • Dr. E: I’m deputy editor of Annals of Internal Medicine. I was associate editor from 1978 to 1999, and I was deputy editor from 1999 to 2003. My sub-specialty is pulmonary disease which I practice every day at the University of Pennsylvania. Most of the editors at Annals do practice, though not as extensively as I do. …

  16. “Just the words” • IR: So today is March seventh. I’m at Annals of Internal Medicine and I’ll be interviewing Dr. P.E. And for the record can you state your name and position? • DrE: It’s P.E. I’m deputy editor of Annals of Internal Medicine. • IR: Okay. And how long have you been working at Annals? • DrE: Since 1978. It’s a long time. I was associate editor from 1978 to 1999 and I’ve been deputy editor from 1999 to 2003.

  17. “Jeffersonian” transcript • IR: So: today is March seventh, I’m at Annals of Internal Medicine and I’ll be interviewing doctor Pete Ernest. (0.4) A::nd um for the record can you state your name and position? • IE: It’s Pete Ernest, I’m deputy editor of Annals of Internal Medicine. • IR: Okay. And how long have you been working at Annals? • (0.4) • IE: Since nineteen seventy eight. It’s a lo::ng time. I was uh:: associate editor from nineteen seventy eight t nineteen ninety ni:ne, …

  18. Which transcription method to use? • Speed versus detail and accuracy versus cost • What are you most interested in learning -- • Content? • Narrative? • Interaction?/Context?

  19. Assignment • If necessary, refine your research questions • Describe your sample and data collection protocol • Describe how you will prepare your data for analysis • Be sure to defend your choices!