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Qualitative Research

Qualitative Research

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Qualitative Research

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  1. Qualitative Research

  2. Qualitative Research • Relies on inductive reasoning and a systematic process • Used to understand the “how” and “why” of a research question better • Uses words to describe meanings, to discover things, and to understand phenomena • It is a subjective approach • Often study things in their natural settings and attempt to make sense of, or interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them

  3. Deductive reasoning works • from the more general to the more specific. • "top-down" approach. • begin with thinking up a theory about our topic of interest. • narrow that down into more specific hypotheses that we can test. • test the hypotheses with specific data • reflects quantitative approach

  4. Inductive reasoning works the other way, moving from specific observations to broader generalizations and theories. • "bottom up" approach • begin with specific observations and measures • begin to detect patterns and regularities, formulate some tentative hypotheses that we can explore • end up developing some general conclusions or theories. • reflects qualitative approach

  5. Approaches to Qualitative Research • Biography • Case Study • Ethnography • Grounded Theory • Phenomenology

  6. BIOGRAPHY • Study of an individual and his/her life experiences as told to the researcher or found in documents and archival material • Types of inquiry: • Biographic - written by someone other than the subject • Autobiographic- first person account • Life History • Interviews plus analysis of economic, historical, political, and social contexts of the individual’s life • Oral History • Collect information from individual(s) about specific events and their causes and effects

  7. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks • Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance. •

  8. CASE STUDY • Exploration of a bounded system or a case (or multiple cases) over time through detailed, in-depth data collection involving multiple sources of information • Bounded system is one bound by time and place • Types of Case Studies: • Intrinsic – exam one successful case to determine how and why of success • Instrumental- primary purpose is insight into an issue, not the case itself • Collective – multiple instrumental case studies

  9. ETHNOGRAPHY • Description or interpretation of a cultural or social group or system (e.g. Understanding participation in breast cancer support groups) • Emic = insider’s perspective • Etic = outsider’s perspective • Reflexivity = reflecting upon the ways in which our own values, experiences, interests, beliefs, political commitments, wider aims in life and social identities have shaped the research. • “Preconceptions are not biases unless the researcher fails to mention them…” (p.232) • Participant Observation or Fieldwork

  10. GROUNDED THEORY • Use of systematic inductive guidelines for collecting and analyzing data to Generate Theory • Theory should be grounded in field-derived data • Basic Elements: • Concepts- basic units of theory development • Categories – groups of concepts • Propositions – relationships between a category and its concept

  11. Grounded Theory (cont) • Saturation – researcher is no longer hearing new info • Also termed “sufficient redundancy” • Systematic coding process: • Open, axial, selective, and sometimes conditional matrix • Allows researchers to develop a theory to explain a phenomenon

  12. PHENOMENOLOGY • Meaning of lived experiences…search for the central, underlying meaning of an experience or a phenomenon • Need to set aside all preconceived notions, personal beliefs, feelings, and perceptions (bracketing) • E.g. phenomenon of being stigmatized and discriminated based on body size (weight) • Multiple interviews of persons who had experienced weight-based stigma and discrimination

  13. SAMPLING • Non-probability samples used • Sampling Techniques: • Case study • Convenience or opportunistic • Purposive • Snow ball • Quota • Sample Size? • Phenomenological = 6 minimum • Ethnographies = 30 to 50 interview • Reach saturation

  14. DATA COLLECTION METHODS • In-depth Interviews • Focus Groups • 5-10 people • Homogeneity • Qualitative data (dialogue) • Discussion is focused (moderated) • Assist in understanding a topic in detail • Observation • Need to establish inter and/or intra-observer reliability • Could use video • Content Analysis

  15. Validity in Qualitative Research • Rigor and credibility • Rigorous data collection and analysis • Prolonged engagement • Persistent observation • Rich, thick description • Triangulation • Peer review or debriefing • Reflexivity (clarifying researcher bias) • Member checks • External audits

  16. TRIANGULATION • Looking for consistency-based on the premise that no single method can adequately answer a research question • Kinds of Triangulation: • Triangulation of methods • Triangulation of sources • Triangulation of analysis • Triangulation of theory

  17. Eval Questions for Qualitative Research • 1. Did the work describe an important health problem addressed via a clearly formulated question? • 2. Was the qualitative approach appropriate? • 3. How were the setting and subjects selected? • 4. What was the researcher’s perspective and was it taken into account? • 5. Where the data collection methods sufficiently explained? • 6. Data analysis methods used and quality control measures taken? • 7. Are the results credible? Are example provided to corroborate statements? • 8. Are the conclusions stated justified by the results? • 9. Are the study’s findings transferrable? (pp. 242-243)