Qualitative Methods for Community &
Practice-Based Research
Nancy Elder, MD, MSPH
Saundra Regan, PhD
The Intersection of P...
Conflict of Interest Disclosure
• We have no conflicts to report.

2013 Ohio Practice-Based Research Festival 2.0 - Decemb...
What We Will Cover
• Short didactic
– Qualitative 101
– Choosing participants
– Data collection
– Data analysis
• Structur...
Qualitative 101
Use qualitative research when…
you want to know why, not is it statistically significant
you want to know ...
Basics of qualitative research
There are many approaches to qualitative research, but
all projects contain these elements:...
Defining the question
• This is the most important step!
• Sets the stage for all subsequent steps
• If done poorly, all y...
Asking the Right Question…
• What are you interested in?
• What knowledge gap exists?
• What do you want to do?
Primary Care!
Research
Aims
Where to find questions
•
•
•
•
•

Community Assessments
Clinical Questions (1999 study 3.2 questions/10 patients)
Reading...
Qualitative research questions…
• Quantitative research questions should be
pretty firm BEFORE data collection
– Additiona...
Choosing Participants
• Multiple methods exist
• Need to justify method used with purpose of
study

2013 Ohio Practice-Bas...
Choosing participants
• Maximum variation
– Seek broadest range of information and ideas
– Can ask “who thinks very differ...
Participants in focus groups
• Look for “homogenous strangers”
– Can be “natural” group vs. just for research
– Homogenous...
Data collection
• Data collection methods:
– Interviews
• Individual interviews
• Focus groups

– Observation and Particip...
Interviews
• Unstructured
– conversation

• Semi-structured
– Focus group – more breadth on a topic
– Individual – more in...
Structured interviews
• Spoken questionnaire or survey
• Appropriate when you know enough to ask
specific, quantifiable qu...
Semi-structured
individual interviews
• Designed to explore areas of interest to
investigator
– Guided, focused, concentra...
Choosing a semi-structured individual
method
• In-Depth interviews
– Intensively explore a particular topic

• Life histor...
Designing the interview guide
• What do you want to know?
• How long do you have for the interview?
• Major questions
– Be...
Group semi-structured interviews:
focus groups
• Definition:
A group of people (usually 6 – 12) who have
been selected bec...
Why use focus groups
• Works well when power differential exists
between participants and decision makers
• Can investigat...
Disadvantages of focus groups
• Purpose must be research
– A bunch of people talking together is not
necessarily a focus g...
Analysis Styles
Crabtree and Miller: three main analysis styles that are
used with the variety of research approaches:
Tem...
Analysis styles: Template
• Makes use of a template or organizing codebook that
is applied to the text being analyzed
• Th...
Analysis styles: Editing
• The researcher enters the text much like an editor
searching for meaningful segments
• Once ide...
Analysis styles: Immersion and crystallization
•

•

The researcher spends prolonged time with
the text, and emerges, afte...
Choice of analytic/organizing style
–
–

–

–

Depends on: self-analysis, the research question and aims,
prior or emergin...
Summary
• Qualitative research:
– What is going on here?
– How can I make sense of it?
– How could it be better?

• Begins...
Case Studies: Qualitative
practice based research
Work together to:
–Write a possible research question
–Select potential ...
Case Study
Patient Safety in Home Hospice
• How might an initial research question look?
Case study
Clinician-MA Teams
• Within small family medicine offices, what are
the factors that shape the clinician-MA
rel...
Case study
COPD Care Providers
• How do different providers of care to patients
with COPD perceive their role and their
re...
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Elder regan pbrn festival-12 07 2013

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Elder regan pbrn festival-12 07 2013

  1. 1. Qualitative Methods for Community & Practice-Based Research Nancy Elder, MD, MSPH Saundra Regan, PhD The Intersection of Primary Care & Public Health: Practice-Based Research Workshop 2013 Ohio Practice-Based Research Festival 2.0 December 7, 2013
  2. 2. Conflict of Interest Disclosure • We have no conflicts to report. 2013 Ohio Practice-Based Research Festival 2.0 - December 7, 2013
  3. 3. What We Will Cover • Short didactic – Qualitative 101 – Choosing participants – Data collection – Data analysis • Structured discussion of case studies demonstrating various qualitative techniques for participant selection, data collection & data analysis.
  4. 4. Qualitative 101 Use qualitative research when… you want to know why, not is it statistically significant you want to know how come, not how many you want to know the reasons and the understanding you want to know what part matters, not by how much it matters
  5. 5. Basics of qualitative research There are many approaches to qualitative research, but all projects contain these elements: Participant selection Data collection Data analysis Study design is driven in large part by your research question and your research paradigm.
  6. 6. Defining the question • This is the most important step! • Sets the stage for all subsequent steps • If done poorly, all your work may be for naught
  7. 7. Asking the Right Question… • What are you interested in? • What knowledge gap exists? • What do you want to do?
  8. 8. Primary Care!
  9. 9. Research Aims
  10. 10. Where to find questions • • • • • Community Assessments Clinical Questions (1999 study 3.2 questions/10 patients) Reading, surfing, tweeting, texting Thinking Talking and Discussion – Patients, friends, family, colleagues, etc. • Questions about questions
  11. 11. Qualitative research questions… • Quantitative research questions should be pretty firm BEFORE data collection – Additional questions may arise (“post hoc”) – Strongest question is the one for which the study was designed • Qualitative research questions can change during data collection – Data collection and data analysis proceed together, by same researchers – If original questions are found not to be the most important, etc., may change question
  12. 12. Choosing Participants • Multiple methods exist • Need to justify method used with purpose of study 2013 Ohio Practice-Based Research Festival 2.0 - December 7, 2013
  13. 13. Choosing participants • Maximum variation – Seek broadest range of information and ideas – Can ask “who thinks very differently than you?” – Choose selection criteria theoretically diverse around topic of interest • Key Informants – A cost efficient way to gain access and understanding – Around the issue or culture being studied, these individuals are well entrenched, active, reflective and articulate – Usually have multiple, in-depth encounters with researcher, but can be used for more specific purposes • Snowball • Purposeful • Convenience
  14. 14. Participants in focus groups • Look for “homogenous strangers” – Can be “natural” group vs. just for research – Homogenous around research topic or area • Age, gender, ethnicity, social status, powerfulness, etc. – Strangers traditionally preferred, but not necessary • Can do multiple groups • Use skilled moderator
  15. 15. Data collection • Data collection methods: – Interviews • Individual interviews • Focus groups – Observation and Participant/Observation – Printed and historical documents • primarily medical chart reviews in primary care 2013 Ohio Practice-Based Research Festival 2.0 - December 7, 2013
  16. 16. Interviews • Unstructured – conversation • Semi-structured – Focus group – more breadth on a topic – Individual – more in-depth on a topic • In-depth interviews, life history, critical incident, oral history • Structured – Surveys/questionnaires – Rank order methods
  17. 17. Structured interviews • Spoken questionnaire or survey • Appropriate when you know enough to ask specific, quantifiable questions • Types of questions include: – How important is something – How commonly does something occur – Rank order some issues in order of importance – How do you feel about something – Etc.
  18. 18. Semi-structured individual interviews • Designed to explore areas of interest to investigator – Guided, focused, concentrated and open-ended – Co-created by investigator and interviewee • Uses an interview guide – Questions, probes and prompts • Recording preferred – Investigator takes brief notes, later expands – Audiotape less expensive, less intrusive than video – Recording can be transcribed for analysis
  19. 19. Choosing a semi-structured individual method • In-Depth interviews – Intensively explore a particular topic • Life histories – Personal biographies • Oral histories – Personal experiences of some event • Critical incident technique – Exploration of defining moments
  20. 20. Designing the interview guide • What do you want to know? • How long do you have for the interview? • Major questions – Begin with less sensitive questions – Probes – delve deeper into question – Prompts – when responses are not forthcoming – Demographics – best at end
  21. 21. Group semi-structured interviews: focus groups • Definition: A group of people (usually 6 – 12) who have been selected because they have something in common to share their feelings or thoughts about an issue, product, service or idea in a comfortable, permissive environment, led by a skilled moderator • “Unit of analysis” is the group – A focus group of 8 does not equal 8 individual interviews
  22. 22. Why use focus groups • Works well when power differential exists between participants and decision makers • Can investigate complex behaviors and motivations • Can learn about degree of consensus on a topic • Respectful to participants
  23. 23. Disadvantages of focus groups • Purpose must be research – A bunch of people talking together is not necessarily a focus group • Topic and participants must be appropriate for a group discussion • Does not supply data for statistics
  24. 24. Analysis Styles Crabtree and Miller: three main analysis styles that are used with the variety of research approaches: Template Editing Immersion/Crystallization 2013 Ohio Practice-Based Research Festival 2.0 - December 7, 2013
  25. 25. Analysis styles: Template • Makes use of a template or organizing codebook that is applied to the text being analyzed • The codebook may be a priori (before data are collected) or a posteriori (developed during or after data collection) • The codebook may look for structure (like in content analysis), ideas, phrases, etc. • If the text reveals inadequacies in the template, modifications and revisions are made and the text is reexamined
  26. 26. Analysis styles: Editing • The researcher enters the text much like an editor searching for meaningful segments • Once identified, these units are sorted and organized into categories or codes • The codebook comes directly from the analysis • It is these categories that are explored for patterns and themes in the connecting phase of analysis
  27. 27. Analysis styles: Immersion and crystallization • • The researcher spends prolonged time with the text, and emerges, after concerned reflection, with an intuitive crystallization of the data This cycle is repeated until the reported interpretation is reached
  28. 28. Choice of analytic/organizing style – – – – Depends on: self-analysis, the research question and aims, prior or emerging knowledge about the topic and the potential audience for the research Template style especially helpful when there is a good prior knowledge of the topic, a clinical audience is anticipated, a research aim is theory testing, or it is one’s aesthetic preference Editing and I/C styles useful when research aim is one of exploration and/or discovery, when scant knowledge already exists, the research is participatory or these styles have more personal aesthetic appeal to the research team Multiple styles can be used during the course of the research
  29. 29. Summary • Qualitative research: – What is going on here? – How can I make sense of it? – How could it be better? • Begins with a good research question • Participant selection, data collection, data analysis
  30. 30. Case Studies: Qualitative practice based research Work together to: –Write a possible research question –Select potential participants –Explore data collection possibilities 2013 Ohio Practice-Based Research Festival 2.0 - December 7, 2013
  31. 31. Case Study Patient Safety in Home Hospice • How might an initial research question look?
  32. 32. Case study Clinician-MA Teams • Within small family medicine offices, what are the factors that shape the clinician-MA relationship? • How might you select participants for this study? • How might you collect data for this study?
  33. 33. Case study COPD Care Providers • How do different providers of care to patients with COPD perceive their role and their relationship to other providers? • How might you select participants for this study? • How might you collect data for this study?

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