Qualitative Methods for Health Research

Front Cover
SAGE, May 25, 2004 - Medical - 262 pages
Qualitative Methods for Health Research is a practical introduction to designing, conducting and appraising qualitative research in areas such as public health, health services research, nursing and health promotion.

This book will be useful for professionals and students with little prior knowledge of social science theory. The authors provide a clear guide for the reader who would like to know more about how to apply their skills to the field of health.

Using examples from health research projects in a wide range of settings, it introduces readers to the key debates in qualitative methodology, issues in designing ethical and feasible projects, the main methods of collecting and analyzing qualitative data, and ways of reading and writing qualitative research.

Key features include:

- case studies

- chapter summaries

- highlighted key points

A basic understanding of methodological principles is as important in applied as in academic work. Health professionals and students alike will learn a great deal about applying methods from this textbook.

 

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Contents

Qualitative Methodology and Health Research
3
What Is qualitative research?
5
Theoretical approaches
7
The orientations of qualitative research
18
The contribution of qualitative research to understanding health and health services
22
Conclusion
25
Exercise
26
Developing Qualitative Research Designs
27
Participant and nonparticipant observation
133
Ethnography and participant observation
135
Doing ethnography close to home
137
Overt and covert roles
138
Mystery shopping and pseudopatient studies
140
Planning a participant observation study
142
Rapid ethnographic methods
146
Nonparticipant observational methods
148

Introduction
28
some examples
34
Problems with design typologies
39
Influences on research design
41
An idealized logic?
42
Data collectiongeneration and analysis methods
44
Practical issues
45
the place of qualitative work in larger health research studies
46
developing skills in research design
49
Key Points
50
Responsibilities Ethics and Values
51
Values in research
52
Ethical review and codes of practice
56
Principle of informed consent
57
Confidentiality
60
Responsibilities to research participants
61
Different models of relationship
69
Responsibilities to yourself and coworkers
71
Ethical dilemmas and conflicts
72
Conclusion
75
Further reading
76
Generating and Analysing Data
77
Indepth Interviews
79
what the research interview does
80
A word on language
81
Language in crosscultural settings
84
Assumptions about our own language
86
what they can and cant do
87
Privatepublic accounts
89
Cultural factors and interviewing
91
Social differences in interviews
92
Elite interviewing
93
developing interview skills
94
Improving reliability
100
Transcribing interviews
101
how many and who to interview?
102
Conclusion
104
Key points
105
Further reading
106
Group Interviews
107
an overview
108
Community interviews and participatory methods
110
Focus groups
111
Advantages of using group interviews
112
Naturalism
117
Limitations
120
Practical issues
121
Developing appropriate methods for the setting
127
Conclusion
128
Key points
129
Observational Methods
131
Aims of observational methods
132
Conclusion
153
Exercises
154
Using Documentary Sources
155
Why use existing sources?
156
Public records
157
Personal documents
160
Mass media outputs
161
Research outputs
162
Methodological Issues in using documentary sources
166
Conclusion
169
Key points
170
Further reading
171
Analysing Qualitative Data
173
Styles of analysis
175
Relating analysis to the alms of the study
176
Thematic content analysis
177
Grounded theory
180
Framework analysis
184
Using computer software to help manage data
186
Rigour in analysis
191
Rigour is not enough
196
Generallzabillty and transferability
197
Conclusion
199
Further reading
200
Doing Qualitative Work for Health
201
Collaborating Across Disciplines and Institutions
203
Different methods for different questions
205
Transdisciplinary work
209
Communicating across disciplines
211
International collaborations
215
Conclusion
217
Further reading
218
Writing up Qualitative Work
219
The writing process
220
Writing for different audiences
221
Writing for health journals
222
Writing for social science colleagues
225
Writing for and disseminating to nonspecialist audiences
227
Alternatives to written reports
228
Some practical issues to consider when writing up
229
Conclusion
233
Exercise
234
Reading and Appraising Qualitative Work
235
Reading critically
237
are criteria possible?
238
Appraisal criteria
240
Criteria in ethnography
243
Conclusion
245
Exercise
246
References
247
Index
259
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Judith Green has degrees in anthropology and sociology, and a PhD in the sociology of heath. She has taught research methods to a wide range of students over the last 30 years, including undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students and health professionals from nursing, medicine, public health and sociology. She is currently Professor of Sociology of Health at King’s College London, and has held posts at the London School of Hygiene and Medicine and London South Bank University. Judith has broad substantive interests in the sociology of health and health services, and has researched and published on primary care, professional identity, accidental injury, public understanding of risk and the relationships between transport and wellbeing. She is currently co-editor of the journal Critical Public Health. Other publications include Risk and Misfortune: the social construction of accidents (1997, UCL Press); Critical Perspectives in Public Health, co-edited with Ronald Labonté (2008, Routledge) and Analysing Health Policy: a sociological approach (1998, Longman), also co-authored with Nicki Thorogood.

Nicki Thorogood’s first degree was in sociology and social anthropology, and she has a PhD in the sociology of health from the University of London. She has over 30 years experience of teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students. Before coming to LSHTM (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) in 1999 she held posts at Middlesex University and at Guy’s King’s and Thomas’s School of Medicine and Dentistry (GKT).

Her research interests are primarily in qualitative research into aspects of ‘identity’, e.g. ethnicity, gender, disability and sexuality and in the sociology of the body. She is also interested in the intersection of mental health with public health and health promotion. She supervises several research degree students. She is Series Editor, with Rosalind Plowman, of the Understanding Public Health series of textbooks published by Open University Press.

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