Mother and Child Health: Research Methods G.J.Ebrahim Editor Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, Oxford University Press.
Qualitative Field Research • Definition • A disciplined inquiry examining the personal meanings of individuals’ experiences and actions in the context of their social environment
Qualitative Field Research • Qualitative because of the nature of the data collected, - detailed descriptions recorded by the investigator. • Field research because the investigation is carried out in the usual environment where the phenomenon occurs. • Disciplined because the inquiry is guided by methodological principles for problem definition, data collection and analysis, and theory formulation
Methodological Roots • Phenomenology - different people experience the world in different ways. • Symbolic interactionism - A social situation has meaning only in the way people define and interpret happenings and events. • Ethnography - A study of the ‘World View” of different groups.
Sampling • Convenience sampling - used when the group of interest is not easily accessible e.g. in ethnography • Systematic non-probabilistic sampling - Informants are recruited because they are knowledgeable • Theoretical sampling - A form of non-probabilistic sampling where the objective of developing an explanation or theory guides sampling and data collection
Methods of Qualitative Research • Participant Observation • In-depth Interview • Group Interviews • Focus Groups
Data Collection and Analysis • No precisely defined hypotheses. Instead there are general aims and theoretical notions about the phenomenon being studied. • Data is analyzed and categorized as data collection proceeds • Sub-sets of categories formed to describe the full range of the data. • Theory building is done by linking categories and different segments of data.
Data Collection and Analysis - II • Analysis proceeds as follows: • Description of the sample population • Coding of data • Displaying summaries of data for interpretation • Drawing of conclusions • Testing and confirming the findings
Qualitative Approach in Medical Research • Qualitative methods may be employed in: • Preliminary stage for hypothesis generation, and design of data form • Principal stage for case studies; for sensitive topics; for process evaluation. • Validation stage for validation between techniques or methods