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Qualitative research

Study design in qualitative research
Method of data collection
Handling qualitative data
Analyzing qualitative data
Presenting the results of qualitative research

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Qualitative research

  1. 1. An Introduction to Qualitative Research By: Farhad MOHAMMAD RAJAB PhD Student at Cyprus International University
  2. 2. Outline  Introduction  Study design in qualitative research  Method of data collection  Handling qualitative data  Analyzing qualitative data  Presenting the results of qualitative research
  3. 3. Qualitative Research - Qualitative research can provide insight which is not possible to elucidate with purely quantitative data – A means for exploring and understanding the meaning individuals or groups ascribe to social or human problems – Study human behavior and social world. - Help us to understand the world in which we live and why things are the way they are .
  4. 4. Qualitative research answer questions on:  Why people behave the way they do?  How opinions and attitudes are formed?  How people are affected by the events that go on around them?  How and why cultures have developed?  The difference between social groups ?
  5. 5. Qualitative research designs Four major types of qualitative research design include: Phenomenology Ethnography Grounded theory Case study
  6. 6. Phenomenology • Study of a phenomena – describing something that exist as part of the world. • Phenomena might be: An event, a situation, an experience or a concept. • It begins with the acknowledgment that there is a gap in our understanding • It may not necessarily provide definitive explanations but it does raise awareness and increase insight
  7. 7. Ethnography • The term means “portrait of people” • It is a methodology for descriptive studies of cultures and peoples – e.g. cultural parameter is suspected of affecting the population’s response to care or treatment • It requires extensive fieldwork by the researchers • Data collection includes formal and informal interview on several occasion and observation • It is extremely time consuming
  8. 8. Ethnography cont. • Data analysis : researcher interpret data from the prospective of the population under study • Results are expressed as they are expressed by the subjects themselves • These studies might be problematic when researchers are not familiar with social norms and language.
  9. 9. Grounded theory • Main feature: development of a new theory through the collection and analysis of data about a phenomenon • It goes beyond phenomenology as the explanation are genuinely new knowledge and are used to develop theories • Various data collection techniques are used: -Literature review, - documentary analysis, - interviews , - observation.
  10. 10. Case study • Case studies might be qualitative or quantitative • In-depth analysis of a single or small number of unites • It is used to describe an entity that forms a single unit such as a person, an organization or an institution • Complexity: illustration of an event VS. analysis of social situation over time • As a research design, it offers rich and in-depth information which is not usually offered by other methods
  11. 11. Case study cont. • It is highly versatile method and employs any or all methods of data collection • It can be used for different purposes e.g. development of new services, organizational changes in planning, purchasing or delivery of health services, evaluation of a program • A critic - case may not be representative of similar cases (findings are not generalizable)
  12. 12. Methods of collecting qualitative data • Direct interaction with individuals – One to one interaction – Or interaction with a group • Interviews - Focus Group Discussion - Observation • Data collection is time consuming • Benefits of these methods include richness of data and deeper insight into phenomena under study
  13. 13. Interviews • Structured interviews – Same questions in same away – Limited range of responses (e.g. questionnaires) • Semi structured interviews or focused interviews – Series of open ended questions – Provide opportunities to both researchers and respondents to discuss certain topics in more details
  14. 14. • Unstructured interviews or in-depth interviews – Discussing limited number of topics – Phrase questions in the interviewee’s previous response • Qualitative interviews are semi structure or unstructured • Qualitative interviews should be fairly informal • Require careful consideration and preparation
  15. 15. Focus group discussion • Collect information from groups of people rather than a series of individuals • FGD can be used when – Resources are limited – To identify a number of individuals who share a common factor – It is desirable to collect the views of several people within the population sub group – Group interaction among participants has the potential for greater insights to be developed
  16. 16. • Characteristics of a focus group – Group size: usually 6-10 people – Several FGD should be run in any research, it would be wrong to rely on the views of just one group – Members of each group should have something in common – May use pre formed groups e.g. pressure groups – Data collection and analysis is time consuming – Requires certain skills Facilitation, moderating, listening, observing and analyzing
  17. 17. Observation • Might be the only method to collect information in certain conditions • Observation of people VS. observation of environment • Observation can also serve for verifying or nullifying information collected through other methods
  18. 18. Techniques for collecting data – Written descriptions • Researcher may miss to record • May focus on one thing and miss equally or even more important things – Video recording • No need to take notes • Review time after time • Recording my affect the behavior of the people under observation • Fixed camera may limits the range of possible observation
  19. 19. • Photographs – Good way of collecting observable data of phenomena which can be captured in a single shots or series of shots – Photographs of buildings, neighborhoods, dress and appearance • Documentation – Wide range of written materials – Policy document, annual reports, minutes of meeting, codes of conduct, notice boards etc.
  20. 20. Handling qualitative research data • Recording VS. note taking • Transcribing qualitative data – Procedure for producing written version of interview – Time consuming , – Produce a lot of written text • Transcribe may not be essential for each interview – Tape analysis: taking notes from play back of tape recorded interviews – Who should do transcribing?
  21. 21. Handling qualitative research data cont. • Consideration should be given to tone and inflection – By listening and noting the intensity and feeling in the interviewee’s voice it is possible to detect: • Positive/negative continuum • Certainty/uncertainty • Enthusiasm/reluctance • Constant comparative analysis: data collection and data analysis occur on ongoing basis – Each interview is analyzed before other interview take place – Finding of first interview is incorporated in the following one – Later interviews might be completely different from the initial ones
  22. 22. Analyzing qualitative data • Involves summarizing data and presenting the results in a way that communicate the most important features • As quantitative research we are interested to discover the big picture in qualitative research as well, but by using different technics • We start labeling or coding every item of information to recognize differences and similarities between all different items
  23. 23. Analyzing qualitative data cont. • No system for pre-coding • Needs a method of identifying and coding items of data which appear in the text of transcript • All the items of data from one interview should be compared with other interviews • Same procedures are used for qualitative data collected through interviews, FGDs, observation and documentary analysis – since all are concerned with analyzing text.
  24. 24. Analyzing qualitative data cont. • Content analysis – Procedure for categorization of verbal or behavioral data – It involves coding and classifying data – Analysis done at two levels: • Basic or manifest level: descriptive what was actually said • Higher or interpretative level ; • what was meant by response – also called latent level of analysis
  25. 25. Analyzing qualitative data cont. • Content analysis involves the following steps: 1. Read the transcript and make brief note of interesting or relevant information 2. Make a list of the different type of information from the notes 3. Categorization of the listed items 4. Identify the categories that are some how linked to each other (major categories or themes) 5. Compare and contrast various categories
  26. 26. 6. Repeat the process from stage 1-5 on next transcripts - Identify new categories of information - Accommodate data in the existing categories - Color code different categories and review 7. Collect together all the extracts from the transcribed interviews that you have put into one category 8. Review different categories and move items if required from one category to another 9. Review and check if two or more categories can fit together 10. Check the initial notes, consider if any previously excluded data is relevant and should be included in results
  27. 27. Presenting the results of qualitative research • Look at themes and categories and structure of the results accordingly • The structure can be set out at the beginning as a list or diagram • Themes are the main findings of the study • To support findings, evidence are presented at direct quotations from respondents
  28. 28. Presenting the results of qualitative research cont. • A range of quotations should be selected – Strength of opinion or belief – Similarities between respondents – Differences between respondents • Link between different categories • Conclusion • Some qualitative data can be dealt with in quantitative way • Using qualitative and quantitative techniques for analysis of data can strengthen analysis