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Qualitative research


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Qualitative research

  1. 1. An Introduction to Qualitative Research Dr. Ranadip Chowdhury M.D. Study Co-ordinator CHRD-SAS
  2. 2. WHAT IS QUALITATIVE RESEARCH Qualitative research places an emphasis on providing a comprehensive or holistic understanding of the social setting in which research is conducted. Social life is viewed as involving interlocking series of events, which need to be fully described in order to reflect the reality of everyday life.
  3. 3. Qualitative Research: Funnel Approach General research questions Collect data Narrower research questions Collect data Narrower research questions Conclusions
  4. 4. Qualitative Research: Inductive Approach Conclusions Specific narrow research question Collect data Broader question Collect data Broader question Emergent Data
  5. 5. The process of qualitative research
  6. 6. The steps in designing a qualitative study 1. Establish the general problem to be investigated – Of interest to the researcher 2. Stating the purpose of the study – Based on problem analysis – Arises from previous studies – Guided by literature review – Determined by who will use the research results
  7. 7. 3. Develop a conceptual/theoretical framework for the study 4. Formulate general and specific research questions (aims and objectives) 5. Select a qualitative research design 6. Select a sampling strategy – Establish site of the research – Selection of participants
  8. 8. 7. Ensure trustworthiness of the study 8. Determine data collection methods and develop data collection tools 9. Establish how data will be managed and analyzed. 10. Interpretation and discussion of findings 11. Prepare research report
  9. 9. Qualitative research designs
  10. 10. Types of qualitative research designs • The case study • Ethnography • Grounded theory • Phenomenology • Participatory research
  11. 11. The case study
  12. 12. The Case Study • Interest is in an individual case rather than in a method of inquiry • Focus on what can be learned from the individual case • A ‘case’ may be simple or complex – Single child – Class of children
  13. 13. Types of case study • Intrinsic – The case itself is of interest • Instrumental case study – A particular case is studied to provide insight into an issue or to refine a theory • Collective case study – A number of cases are studied jointly in order to investigate a phenomenon (instrumental study extended to several cases)
  14. 14. Ethnography
  15. 15. Ethnography • Rooted in anthropology • Also called participant observation/ naturalistic enquiry • Ethno = people Graphy = describing something • Characterized by immersion
  16. 16. Role of the observer • Complete observer – Behind one-way mirror, invisible role • Observer as participant – Known, overt observer • Participant as observer – Pseudo-member, research role known • Complete participant – Full membership, research role not known
  17. 17. Amount of time in the field site Researcher’s Focus of Attention Not relevant Not Important All details in the field Amount of time in the field site Figure: Focusing in field research (Adapted from Neuman 1997)
  18. 18. Grounded Theory
  19. 19. Grounded Theory • Rooted in social sciences • Emphasises the development of theory • Which is grounded in data systematically collected and analyzed (constant comparative analysis to produce substantive theory) • Theory must be faithful to the evidence • Looks for generalisable theory - by making comparisons across situations • Focus is on patterns of action and interaction
  20. 20. Phenomenology
  21. 21. Features of Phenomenology • Rooted in philosophy • Central question: what is the meaning, structure, and essence of the lived experience of this phenomenon for this person/group of people? • How is each individual’s subjective reality applied to make experiences meaningful? • Analysis of the language used
  22. 22. Approaches to Participatory Research
  23. 23. Participatory Action Research (PAR) • Emphasises the political aspects of knowledge production • Concerned about power and powerlessness – empowerment through conscientisation (building self-awareness and constructing knowledge) • Importance of people’s lived experience – ‘honour the wisdom of the people’ • Concerned with genuine collaboration • Democratic values
  24. 24. Action Research • Build action theories - action science • Aim is to develop effective action, improve practice, and implement change • Cyclical process, alternating between action and reflection
  25. 25. Sampling in qualitative research
  26. 26. Considerations in sampling • Purpose of qualitative research – Produce information-rich data – Depth rather than breadth – Insight rather than generalisation • Conceptual rather than numerical considerations – Choose information-rich sites and respondents
  27. 27. Common sampling approach • Purposive sampling – Not haphzard – Select information-rich cases – Not the same as convenience sampling
  28. 28. Purposive Sampling Strategies • Deviant case sampling – Information rich cases that are unusual (e.g. In Search of Excellence) • Intensity sampling – Excellent examples of the phenomenon of interest but not highly unusual cases • Heterogenous sampling – Sample people with diverse characteristics to see whether there are common patterns
  29. 29. • Homogenous samples – Describe a particular sub-group in depth • Typical case sampling – To describe and illustrate what is typical to a particular setting • Snowball sampling – Through informants identify others who know a lot about the issue • Opportunistic sampling – Taking advantage of on-the-spot opportunities
  30. 30. Considerations in sample size • Saturation • Redundancy • Minimum samples based on expected reasonable coverage, given the purpose of the study and constraints
  31. 31. Criteria for judging the quality and credibility of qualitative research • Criteria for judging the quality of qualitative research specific to the research design selected • General criteria inlcude: – Clear exposition of data collection and analysis methods – Generating and assessing rival conclusions • Alternative themes, divergent patterns, rival explanations • Attention to negative cases
  32. 32. Triangulation • Methods – interviews, observations, document analysis • Sources – public/private, over time, different perspectives • Analysts – multiple analysts, independent analysis and compare findings • Theories – to understand how diferent assumptions affect findings, illuminate inconsistencies
  33. 33. –Respondent validation –Reflexivity • The researcher as research instrument –Relevance • Adds to/affirms existing knowledge • Generalisable to similar settings
  34. 34. Data Collection Methods
  35. 35. Unstructured Interview • Topic List • Effective Probing • Good Response to individual differences & situational characteristics. • Good for initial rapport building. • Difficult to systemize and analyze data.
  36. 36. Semi-structured Interview • Depth/focused interview (Extensive descriptive information, in the form of narratives, actions, events, that can give verbal pictures of systemic behavior) • Case Study (Comprehensive, systemic, and in- depth information about a particular cases of interest) • Life-histories
  37. 37. • Helpful for clarity of the researcher and flexible to follow new leads • Development of interviewer guide
  38. 38. Structured/Systemic Interview • Free Listing. – The purpose is to isolate and define relevant domain. • Pile-sorting. – Helps to study the relations among items within domain. • Rating Scale. – Items can be rated on a single conceptual scale. • Rank order – Complete rank Ordering – Partial Rank Ordering
  39. 39. Group Interview • Focus Group – Get a variety of perspectives/reactions to a certain issue but not they are not appropriate for trying to get actual behaviors. – In a short time – Mainly for eliciting opinions, values, feelings – Homogenous, Strangers – 6-10 people, 1-2 hours – At least 2 groups should be conducted for each type of respondent to be interviewed.
  40. 40. • Non-focus group interviews – Un-structured/semi-structured technique – Useful for action oriented research • Mapping & Modelling – Health service catchment area/village residential area/ social map etc. • Seasonal Calendars – Particular health problem common/rainfall/farming activities. • Time lines – Local events & development of community history
  41. 41. Observation • Purpose of observation – Describe the setting – First-hand experience – assists with analysis – See what is normally taken for granted or not easily spoken about – Confirm perceptions of respondents • Requires training, preparation and discipline • Develop an observation checklist
  42. 42. Types of observation • Participant Observation • Un-structured Observation • Structured Observation – Continuous monitoring – Spot checks – Rating Checks
  43. 43. Qualitative data analysis
  44. 44. Stages in qualitative data analysis • Qualitative data analysis is a non-linear / iterative process (interim analysis). – Numerous rounds of questioning, reflecting, rephrasing, analysing, theorising, verifying after each observation, interview, or Focus Group Discussion
  45. 45. • During data collection –Reading – data immersion – reading and re-reading (Memos: Reflective notes) –Coding – listen to the data for emerging themes and begin to attach labels or codes to the texts that represent the themes
  46. 46. • After data collection –Displaying – the themes (all information) –Developing hypotheses, questioning and verification –Reducing – from the displayed data identify the main points
  47. 47. • Interpretation (Content Analysis) –At all stages – searching for core meanings of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours described –Overall interpretation • Identify how themes relate to each other • Explain how study questions are answered • Explain what the findings mean beyond the context of your study
  48. 48. Content Analysis 3 distinct approaches: • Conventional, • Directed • Summative. (The major differences among the approaches are coding schemes, origins of codes, and threats to trustworthiness.)
  49. 49. Steps • Step1: Transcription • Step 2: Deciding the unit of analysis • Step 3: From units to categories • Step 4: Test coding on sample test • Step 5: Code all text data • Step 6: Assess the coding consistency • Step 7: Drawing conclusions from the coded data • Step 8: Reporting
  50. 50. Software • NUDIST • ATLAS-ti • Ethnograph • NVivo 2.0 • ANTHROPAC
  51. 51. Thank you...