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Introduction to qualitative research methods


Introduction to qualitative research methods India FETP Competency to be gained from this lecture Identify the need for qualitative data when they are needed Outline ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to qualitative research methods

Introduction to qualitative research methods
  • India FETP

Competency to be gained from this lecture
  • Identify the need for qualitative data when they
    are needed

  • Qualitative research in public health
  • Differences between qualitative and quantitative
  • Key elements of qualitative research

The perception of being cured from leprosy
  • From the leprosy specialist
  • Treatment completed
  • Infection eradicated
  • What does the patient think?
  • My patch is still here!
  • I am still disabled!

The place of qualitative research
The essence of qualitative research
  • Inquiry process of understanding
  • Based upon distinct methodological traditions of
    inquiry that explore a social or human problem

The place of qualitative research
The qualitative researcher
  • Builds a complex, holistic picture
  • Analyzes words
  • Reports detailed views of informants
  • Conducts the study in a natural setting

The place of qualitative research
Why use qualitative methods?
  • Bridge the gap between
  • The public health professionals
  • The population that is supposed to benefit from
    their work
  • Who are these people we are working for?
  • Get the perspective of the local people
  • The first information can be misinterpreted
  • More information is needed for it to become

The place of qualitative research
When to use qualitative methods?
  • Need to explore and explain behaviours
  • Explain rather than describing
  • Subject matter is unfamiliar or insufficiently
  • Mapping issues
  • Suitable vocabulary is not available to
    communicate with respondents

The place of qualitative research
What qualitative methods can bring?
  • Identify health determinants
  • Underlying behaviours
  • Attitudes
  • Perceptions
  • Explain social and programmatic impediment to
  • Informed choices
  • Use of services
  • Shed light on the success of intervention
  • Facilitate understanding of policy, social and
    legal context in which decisions are made

The place of qualitative research
Advantages of qualitative methods
  • Flexible
  • Encourage discoveries
  • Stimulate more investigation of the unexpected

The place of qualitative research
Qualitative methods do not replace quantitative
  • Address different questions
  • Qualitative methods may be in important input to
    quantitative research
  • Parallel source of distinct, rich and pertinent

Qualitative versus quantitative
A source of added value
Include in a single design
Qualitative research
Quantitative research
Qualitative versus quantitative
Possible sequence in qualitative and quantitative
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Sort out / identify issues or factors
  • Quantitative research methods
  • Measure the frequency of key issues / factors

Qualitative versus quantitative
Traditional questions in qualitative methods
  • Examples
  • Why do people behave the way they do?
  • Why are things the way they are?
  • The how many of the epidemiologist is replaced
    by why

Qualitative versus quantitative
Deductive versus inductive processes
  • Deductive process in qualitative studies (e.g.,
  • Begins with theory
  • Examines hypothetical relationships within it
  • Inductive process in quantitative studies (e.g.,
  • Begins with observations
  • Open questions towards more general conclusions

Qualitative versus quantitative
Criteria to judge the quality of findings in
quantitative and qualitative research
  • Quantitative studies
  • Accuracy
  • Reliability
  • Freedom from bias
  • Qualitative studies
  • Neutrality
  • Uniformity
  • Objectivity
  • Replicability

Qualitative versus quantitative
Emphasis of quantitative and qualitative studies
  • Quantitative studies
  • Consistent operational definitions
  • Precisely worded questions
  • Statistical analysis
  • The formulation of questions in measurable terms
    limits the scope
  • Qualitative studies
  • Objectivity
  • Expression of findings
  • Measurable outcomes
  • Relationship

Qualitative versus quantitative
Purpose of qualitative research
  • Asks why, how and under what circumstances events
  • Seeks depth of understanding
  • Views social phenomena holistically
  • Explores and discovers
  • Provides insight into the meanings of decisions
    and actions

Principles of qualitative research
Methodology used in qualitative research
  • Interpretative and other open-ended methods
  • Iterative rather than fixed
  • Emergent rather than pre-structured

Principles of qualitative research
Respondents and investigator
  • Respondents
  • Respondents are not subjects
  • Active participants
  • Investigator
  • Instrument in the research process

Principles of qualitative research
Creating a partnership in qualitative research
requires a high level of skills
  • Partnership
  • Participant
  • Contribute the information
  • Researcher
  • Learner
  • Co-interpreter
  • Guides the process towards knowledge
  • Ethical obligations
  • Relationship based upon trust and mutual
    understanding of a common goal

Principles of qualitative research
Methods versus technique
  • Method
  • A systematic approach to data collection
  • Includes tools and techniques to gather data
  • Basic units
  • Building blocks of information
  • Technique
  • The art of asking, listening and interpreting

Principles of qualitative research
Emic versus Etic perspectives
Emic Etic
Methods In depth interview Observation
Aims How do respondents define and label things Describe and explain patterns of behaviours
Explanations of behaviours Peoples idea systems Impersonal factors Material conditions
Cross cultural generalizations Require conversion in abstract inter-cultural categories Application of the same observation method to different cultures
Neologisms coming from phonetic and phonemic
Macro versus micro
  • Differentiate
  • Macro
  • The country, the world
  • Micro
  • The village
  • Anthropologists have a tendency to focus on the
  • Many interactions today between the micro and the

Principles of qualitative research
Non-reactive and interactive techniques
  • Non-reactive (Unobtrusive)
  • The observers intent is to be unnoticed
  • Interactive (Participant)
  • Observation of social processes
  • Living with the community a year
  • Allows seasons and events to come back

Principles of qualitative research
The notion of domains
  • Set of items or things that are all of the same
    type or category
  • Example
  • Health
  • Religion
  • Intimacy

Principles of qualitative research
Sorting observations and experiences as domains
Free listing and pile sorting
  • Free listing
  • Participants are asked to make lists of all
    instances of the same phenomenon
  • Transfer to cards
  • Pile sorting
  • Sorting of the cards by piles according to own
    criteria and labels

Principles of qualitative research
The relevance of domain
  • The public health specialist may place a disease
    (e.g., diarrhea) in the domain of science and /
    or germ theory
  • The respondent may place the disease in a
    completely different domain
  • Tradition
  • Religion
  • Folk beliefs

Principles of qualitative research
Selected types of qualitative studies
  • Life stories
  • Observations
  • Focus groups
  • In depth interviews

Principles of qualitative research
Take home messages
  • Qualitative research map out issues and explain
  • Use the various comparative advantages of
    qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Qualitative research explores, asks why and seeks
    depth in understand