Research methods in behavioural health sciences

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  • 1. 06/09/14 Molla M. Research Methods in Behavioral Sciences: Qualitative Studies
  • 2. 06/09/14 Molla M. Introduction  Qualitative research is an investigation process  based on distinct methodological traditions of inquiry  which explores a social or individual problem (Creswell 1998).  In qualitative research the researcher  Builds a complex holistic picture,  Analyses words,  Reports detailed views of informants and  Conduct the study in a natural setting.
  • 3. Introduction  It is a type of formative research that offers specialized techniques for obtaining in-depth responses about what people think and how they feel  It enables to gain insight into  attitudes,  beliefs,  motives and  behaviour of the target population 06/09/14 Molla M.
  • 4. 06/09/14 Molla M. Introduction  Qualitative research shares a common perspective on the world, this includes  A perspective of working hypothesis concerning reality: ontological assumption  realities are subjective, multiple and socially constructed  A view on how knowledge is generated : epistemological assumptions  this emphasizes the interaction between the informant and the researcher as inseparable  A view on the role of values: axiological assumptions  research is value-bound and the pre-understanding, and expectations of the research can influence the outcome
  • 5. 06/09/14 Molla M. Introduction  The process of research: methodological assumptions  qualitative research is inductive, time and context-bound and follows an emerging design.
  • 6. 06/09/14 Molla M. Difference b/n qualitative and quantitative methods  In qualitative research the point of departure is the point of view of the informants  Qualitative research is an act of interpretation  Qualitative researchers work with small number of informants, but try to gain an in-depth understanding.  In quantitative research the point of departure is the idea of the researchers  Quantitative research is an act of proof  Quantitative researchers need representative sample size
  • 7. 06/09/14 Molla M. Difference b/n qualitative and quantitative methods  The data processing in qualitative research is systematic yet flexible  Unlike quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis does not entail reducing information to numbers and applying statistical methods.  Rather, the aim of qualitative analysis is to conceptualize the meaning of phenomena and human action
  • 8. 06/09/14 Molla M. Difference b/n qualitative and quantitative methods  The line of reasoning of quantitative and qualitative research differs.  Quantitative study starts with the generation of hypothesis from existing theory.  The hypothesis is then tested against reality  Deductive reasoning  Qualitative research instead has reality in data collected with an open mind  New concepts, hypothesis or even theories are discovered.  Inductive reasoning
  • 9. 06/09/14 Molla M. Difference b/n qualitative and quantitative methods  Qualitative study deals with the emotional and contextual aspects of human response.  In qualitative research we answer the question why ?  Quantitative study deals with objective measurable behaviour and attitudes  While, in quantitative studies we answer the question “how many” or “how often”?
  • 10. 06/09/14 Molla M. Why do we use qualitative study  There are both conceptual and practical reasons to use qualitative studies  Conceptually:  It provides greater depth of response and greater consequent understanding of the informant
  • 11. 06/09/14 Molla M. Why do we use qualitative study  Practical reasons to use qualitative research:  Low cost  Timing-short time  Flexibility- the study design can be modified while it is in progress  Direct link with the target population  Not affected by lack of technical facilities
  • 12. 06/09/14 Molla M. How is qualitative research used 1. As an idea generation tool  To stimulate ideas and get firsthand experience in observing and hearing the target population  To develop new ideas for the communications strategy  To explore perceptions from visual or verbal stimuli
  • 13. 06/09/14 Molla M. How is qualitative research used cont… 2. A preliminary step to aid in the development of a quantitative study  To develop hypothesis  To specify particular information needs for the quantitative study  To identify the target population  To aid with the development of and sequencing of questionnaires  To assist in problem identification and definition  To complement quantitative researches
  • 14. 06/09/14 Molla M. How is qualitative research used cont… 3. As a follow-up to aid in understanding of the results of a quantitative study  Explain ambiguous or unclear quantitative data  To gain some understanding about the reasons for certain trends
  • 15. 06/09/14 Molla M. How is qualitative research used cont… 4. The primary data collection method  Some research problems are better explained by qualitative researches  For example ethnographic studies
  • 16. 06/09/14 Molla M. Designing qualitative research  The choice of research method as quantitative or qualitative depends on the study interest as deductive or inductive  In qualitative research we want to discover knowledge or hypothesis with an open mined hence inductive research  There are some important central concepts to be considered in designing qualitative research methods
  • 17. 06/09/14 Molla M. Designing qualitative research 1. Natural setting/Context:  People ascribe different meanings to activities, events or phenomenon in different contexts 2. Holistic: taking a multitude of contextual factors. “ the whole is more than the individual parts” 3. The human research instrument: the researcher as a human research instrument is very important in qualitative research
  • 18. 06/09/14 Molla M. Designing qualitative research 4. There is no a priori hypothesis and the research method is flexible, hence the researcher should be involved from data collection to write up. 5. The epistemological aspect of qualitative research indicates that knowledge is created by interaction between people (knower and known) 6. Emerging design: Aim to learn from every step of our data collection
  • 19. 06/09/14 Molla M. Sampling in Qualitative study  In quantitative we use probabilistic sampling: everyone have equal chance of being selected  In qualitative research we use purposive sampling  We have a purpose for doing so  We want to have a deep understanding about a specific problem or subject
  • 20. 06/09/14 Molla M. Techniques of sampling 1. Snowball or chain sampling  The first selected subject is used as a resource for identifying the next person 1. Maximum variation sampling  The participants are different to get different point of views 1. Extreme or deviant:  Cases can be purposively selected to test emerging theories
  • 21. 06/09/14 Molla M. Techniques of sampling 4. Homogenous sampling  can be done among the same strata 5. Convenience sampling:  who are readily available NB: Care must be taken in involving talkative, willing, educated informants to minimize bias
  • 22. 06/09/14 Molla M. Three points to successful qualitative research  The researcher must develop the art of asking why?  The researchers must develop the art of listening  The researcher must approach the research as creative process of investigation
  • 23. 06/09/14 Molla M. Types of qualitative studies  Two leading research techniques are broadly used:  Focus group discussions: capitalizes on group dynamics and allow a small group of respondents to be guided by a moderator.  In-depth Interviews  The term interview is divided in to two words  Inter- inside  View- sight, vision, outlook, observation  It is the use of extended probing and open ended questions
  • 24. 06/09/14 Molla M. When to use In-depth interviews  Highly sensitive issues  Geographical dispersed respondents  When peer pressure is expected to distort facts
  • 25. 06/09/14 Molla M. Focus group discussion  This is a type of group interview  Far advanced and used more than in-depth interview for the following reasons  Group interaction stimulate richer responses and emergence of new ideas  Observation: The researcher observes and gets first hand insights  Cost and timing: (FGD) can be done more quickly and generally less expensively than series of depth interviews
  • 26. 06/09/14 Molla M. When to use FGD  Idea generation  Problem identification and definition  Evaluation of message concepts  Program design
  • 27. 06/09/14 Molla M. FGD discussion techniques  Size of the participants should be 8-12, (Green, ) others say minimum of 6 and maximum of 10. Control is obtained in small numbers but not less than 6.  There should be a moderator and a note-taker  Tape recording is important to facilitate recalling  Refreshment and usually familiar environment is important
  • 28. 06/09/14 Molla M. FGD moderator  The role of the moderator is critical to conducting an effective FGD. In selecting the moderator it is important to evaluate:  Personal characteristics  Moderating style  Experience and background
  • 29. 06/09/14 Molla M. Moderator experience and background  Moderator academic background varies, usually psychologists and social scientists deal in group dynamics  An experienced moderator in different subjects is important example: youth, professionals and so ion.
  • 30. 06/09/14 Molla M. Moderator….  A moderator is not a teacher  A moderator is not a judge  A moderator does not lookdown on respondents  A moderator does not agree or disagree with what is said  A moderator does not put words in the respondents’ mouths  There are no right or wrong answers