Using Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods to Answer your Research Questions

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1 Using Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods to Answer your Research Questions Elena T. Carbone, DrPH, RD, LDN Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition Director, Community-Engaged Research Program University of Massachusetts Amherst

2 Outline Background Integration of qualitative and quantitative methods Using qualitative methods to design a research study

3 Background Quantitative Methods Qualitative Methods What do you think of when you see these terms? How do they compare?

4 Background Quantitative Deductive Inductive Qualitative.

5 Background Quantitative Deductive 1. Focus on testing existing theory Qualitative Inductive 1. Focus on generating new theory Excerpted from:

6 Background Quantitative Deductive 1. Focus on testing existing theory 2. Usually begins with hypotheses Qualitative Inductive 1. Focus on generating new theory 2. Used to form hypotheses Excerpted from:

7 Background Quantitative Deductive 1. Focus on testing existing theory 2. Usually begins with hypotheses 3. Focus on causality Qualitative Inductive 1. Focus on generating new theory 2. Used to form hypotheses 3. Focus on new phenomena or examining previously researched phenomena from a new perspective Excerpted from:

8 Background Quantitative Deductive 1. Focus on testing existing theory 2. Usually begins with hypotheses 3. Focus on causality Qualitative Inductive 1. Focus on generating new theory 2. Used to form hypotheses 3. Focus on new phenomena or examining previously researched phenomena from a new perspective 4. This method uses deduction to test hypotheses & theories 4. This method is used to make broad generalizations from specific observations Excerpted from:

9 Background Quantitative Deductive Measurement tends to be objective numerical information derived from statistical interpretations of data that can be mathematically manipulated and understood Qualitative Inductive Measurement tends to be subjective data derived mainly through sensory observations and overall impressions of a particular phenomena Adapted from: Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods by Michael Quinn Patton

10 Background Quantitative Deductive Objective measurement Reliable (technology = instrument) numerical information collected via high tech machines or numerical analysis of self-report surveys with scaled answers that are mathematically manipulated and understood Qualitative Inductive Subjective measurement Valid (self = instrument) requires researchers to serve as one of the measuring instruments; his/her perspective will be informed by individual perceptions, norms, and personal meaning attributed to observed events Adapted from: Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods by Michael Quinn Patton

11 Background Quantitative Deductive Objective measurement Reliable Generalizable Outsider s perspective Population-oriented Qualitative Inductive Subjective measurement Valid Not generalizable Insider s perspective Case-oriented Adapted from: Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods by Michael Quinn Patton

12 Qualitative and quantitative approaches appear to be very different but are they?

13 Qualitative data can be coded and reported quantitatively (but be careful!)

14 Avoid over counting NO: 3 women said this 6 women said that 10 women said something else. YES: Most women said Use tables to display data and define what most means Avoid misleading counting Avoid use of % to describe small samples Can be highly misleading with small samples May be required by some journals Rule of thumb: If total sample <25 cases, give actual numbers Sandelowski. Research in Nursing & Health. 2001;24:

15 Quantitative data are based on quality judgments.

16 Quantitative data are based on quality judgments. Numbers can t fully be interpreted without understanding underlying assumptions. Example: Patient flow in the orthopedic unit is 38% slower than other units in the hospital.

17 Integration of Quantitative and Qualitative Model 1 Qualitative methods used to help develop quantitative measures and instruments. QUALITATIVE QUANTITATIVE RESULTS Steckler et al. Health Education Quarterly. 1992;19(1):5.

18 Integration of Quantitative and Qualitative Model 1 Qualitative methods used to help develop quantitative measures and instruments. QUALITATIVE QUANTITATIVE RESULTS Example *Qualitative: FGs with patients, staff, and physicians at a community health center (CHC) identifies recurring barriers to diabetes selfmanagement. Quantitative: FG data used to design a survey of CHC patients and health care providers to identify and prioritize most common barriers; collect clinical data (HgA1C, etc.) Steckler et al. Health Education Quarterly. 1992;19(1):5; *Carbone et al. Patient Educ Counsel. 2007;66(2):

19 Integration of Quantitative and Qualitative Model 2 Qualitative methods used to help explain quantitative findings. QUANTITATIVE RESULTS QUALITATIVE Steckler et al. Health Education Quarterly. 1992;19(1):5.

20 Integration of Quantitative and Qualitative Model 2 Qualitative methods used to help explain quantitative findings. QUANTITATIVE RESULTS QUALITATIVE Example Quantitative: National data reveals a trend of lower test scores on mandatory food safety certification exams among school food service managers. Qualitative: In-depth interviews with a subgroup of school food service managers to determine reasons underlying declining scores. Steckler et al. Health Education Quarterly. 1992;19(1):5; Brennan Olson & Carbone. Food Protection Trends. 2011;3(2):

21 Integration of Quantitative and Qualitative Model 3 Quantitative methods used to embellish a primarily qualitative study. QUALITATIVE RESULTS QUANTITATIVE Steckler et al. Health Education Quarterly. 1992;19(1):5.

22 Integration of Quantitative and Qualitative Model 3 Quantitative methods used to embellish a primarily qualitative study. QUALITATIVE RESULTS QUANTITATIVE Example *Qualitative: Observations of school-aged children at community pools reveals lack of sunscreen use by parents/guardians. Quantitative: Survey parents and guardians to identify knowledge and attitudes about sunscreen use. Steckler et al. Health Education Quarterly. 1992;19(1):5; *Glanz, Carbone, Song. Health Education Research 1999;14(2),

23 Integration of Quantitative and Qualitative Model 4 Qualitative and quantitative methods are used equally and in parallel. QUALITATIVE RESULTS QUANTITATIVE Steckler et al. Health Education Quarterly. 1992;19(1):5.

24 Integration of Quantitative and Qualitative Model 4 Qualitative and quantitative methods are used equally and in parallel. QUALITATIVE RESULTS QUANTITATIVE Example Qualitative: Key informant interviews with community leaders to assess knowledge, awareness, and level of commitment to a community-wide public health promotion campaign. *Quantitative: Survey of community members to assess knowledge, awareness, and level of commitment to a community-wide public health promotion campaign. Steckler et al. Health Education Quarterly. 1992;19(1):5; *Carbone et al. to be submitted to Preventive Medicine

25 Use of Qualitative Methods to Design Research Purpose Conceptual Context Research Questions Methods Validity Maxwell JA (1996) Qualitative Research Design. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

26 Purpose Why are you doing this study? Understanding Meaning Context Process/es Identifying Unanticipated phenomenon and influences Causal explanations Maxwell JA (1996) Qualitative Research Design. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

27 Purpose Conceptual Context What do you think is going on? Assumptions Expectations Beliefs Maxwell JA (1996) Qualitative Research Design. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

28 Literature Reviews Learn about the topic. Learn about the theoretical assumptions and methods that produce the results. Learn the tools for documenting, linking, sorting and storing information.

29 Purpose Conceptual Concept Research Questions What do you want to understand? Maxwell JA (1996) Qualitative Research Design. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

30 Purpose Conceptual Concept Research Questions Methods What will you actually do? Where? When? Who? How? How much? Maxwell JA (1996) Qualitative Research Design. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

31 Fit Questions with Methods Qualitative Methods Ethnography: Research methods that observe social systems, behaviors, cultures, social life (activities of daily living). Morse J and Richards L (2002) README FIRST: For a user's guide to qualitative methods. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

32 Fit Questions with Methods Methods Ethnography: Research methods that observe social systems, behaviors, cultures, social life (activities of daily living). Phenomenology: Study of individuals emotions, attitudes, thoughts, meanings, perceptions and experiences during or after experiencing a phenomenon. Morse J and Richards L (2002) README FIRST: For a user's guide to qualitative methods. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

33 Phenomenology The study of phenomena appearances of things, things as they appear in our experience, the ways we experience things (e.g. coping, anger management, etc.) It refers to the meanings that things have in our lived experience. Excerpted from:

34 Fit Questions with Methods Methods Ethnography: Research methods that observe social systems, behaviors, cultures, social life (activities of daily living). Phenomenology: Study of individuals emotions, attitudes, thoughts, meanings, perceptions and experiences during or after experiencing a phenomenon. Grounded theory: Systematic evaluation of qualitative data to generate theories. Morse J and Richards L (2002) README FIRST: For a user's guide to qualitative methods. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

35 Grounded Theory Requires extensive and repeated examination of data. Analyses and re-analyses of the data is required multiple times to identify emergent theory. Best suited to research studies where a phenomena has not previously been examined.

36 Fit Questions with Methods Question What are the behaviors of? Methods Ethnography Morse J and Richards L (2002) README FIRST: For a user's guide to qualitative methods. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

37 Fit Questions with Methods Question What are the behaviors of? Methods Ethnography What is the meaning of? Phenomenology Morse J and Richards L (2002) README FIRST: For a user's guide to qualitative methods. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

38 Fit Questions with Methods Question What are the behaviors of? Methods Ethnography What is the meaning of? Phenomenology What is the process of? Grounded theory Morse J and Richards L (2002) README FIRST: For a user's guide to qualitative methods. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

39 Fit Methods with Type of Data Selected Method 1. Ethnography Data Sources Participant observation, field notes, unstructured or structured interviews, audio or videotapes, documents, records, photographs, maps, focus groups 2. Phenomenology 3. Grounded theory Morse J and Richards L (2002) README FIRST: For a user's guide to qualitative methods. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

40 Fit Methods with Type of Data Selected Method 1. Ethnography Data Sources Participant observation, field notes, unstructured or structured interviews, audio or videotapes, documents, records, photographs, maps, focus groups 2. Phenomenology In-depth interviews, audiotapes, examine phenomenological literature, poetry, arts, films 3. Grounded theory Morse J and Richards L (2002) README FIRST: For a user's guide to qualitative methods. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

41 Fit Methods with Type of Data Selected Method 1. Ethnography Data Sources Participant observation, field notes, unstructured or structured interviews, audio or videotapes, documents, records, photographs, maps, focus groups 2. Phenomenology 3. Grounded theory In-depth interviews, audiotaped, examine phenomenological literature, poetry, arts, films Audiotaped interviews, participant and nonparticipant observations recorded in diaries, field notes, personal experiences Morse J and Richards L (2002) README FIRST: For a user's guide to qualitative methods. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

42 Fit Method, Data and Analytical Techniques Method Data Source/Type Analysis Primary data observations, field notes, interviews, focus groups deep descriptions, rereading notes, case analysis, coding Secondary data Morse J and Richards L (2002) README FIRST: For a user's guide to qualitative methods. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

43 Fit Method, Data and Analytical Techniques Method Data Source/Type Analysis Primary data Secondary data observations, field notes, interviews, focus groups documents, archival data deep descriptions, rereading notes, case analysis, coding coding, recording notes, diagramming or modeling to show patterns and processes Morse J and Richards L (2002) README FIRST: For a user's guide to qualitative methods. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

44 Purposes Conceptual Concept Research Questions Methods Validity Maxwell JA (1996) Qualitative Research Design. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications What might you be doing wrong?

45 Threats to Validity Theory Ignore alternative explanations of the phenomena you are studying. Description Inaccuracy or incompleteness of the data. Interpretation Imposing one s own perspective or meaning rather than the experience of participants. Morse J and Richards L (2002) README FIRST: For a user's guide to qualitative methods. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

46 Contextual Factors Influencing a Research Design Perceived Problems Personal Experience Personal and Political Goals Participants Concerns Funding Purpose Research Questions Conceptual Context Existing Theory Prior and Pilot Research Ethical Standards Data and Conclusions Setting Methods Validity Personal Style Researcher Skills Research Paradigm Maxwell JA (1996) Qualitative Research Design. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications

47 Steps to Consider in the Design Process Step 1: Literature review Step 2: Methodological approach Step 3: Research setting Step 4: Sampling scheme, protocols and procedures Step 5: Field work Step 6: Management of data Step 7: Application of analytic techniques

48 References 1. Steckler A, et al. Toward Integrating qualitative and quantitative methods: An introduction. Health Education Quarterly. 1992; 19: Patton MQ (2012). Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods, 3 rd ed. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications. 4. Carbone ET, et al. Diabetes self-management: Perspectives of Latino patients and their health care providers. Patient Education and Counseling. 2007;May;66(2): Brennan Olson B and Carbone ET. Examining the Exam: Implications for participants and policies makers of the food manager certification exam. Food Protection Trends. 2011;3(2): Glanz K, Carbone E, Song V. Formative research for developing targeted skin cancer prevention programs for children in multiethnic Hawai i. Health Education Research. 1999;14(2), Sandelowski. Research in Nursing & Health. 2001;24: Maxwell JA (1996) Qualitative Research Design. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications 9. Morse J and Richards L (2002) README FIRST: For a user's guide to qualitative methods. Thousands Oak: SAGE Publications 9.

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