Qualitative Research Methods

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OVERVIEW Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector’s Field Guide Module 1 Qualitative Research Methods Overview F A M I L Y H E A L T H I N T E R N A T I O N A L Qualitative Research Methods Overview OVERVIEW T • • • • • • his module introduces the fundamental elements of a qualitative approach to research, to help you understand and become proficient in the qualitative methods discussed in subsequent modules. We recommend that you consult the suggested readings at the end of the module for more in-depth treatment of the foundations of qualitative research. This module covers the following topics: Introduction to Qualitative Research Comparing Qualitative and Quantitative Research Sampling in Qualitative Research Recruitment…show more content…
Participants have the opportunity to respond more elaborately and in greater detail than is typically the case with quantitative methods. In turn, researchers have the opportunity to respond immediately to what participants say by tailoring subsequent questions to information the participant has provided. It is important to note, however, that there is a range of flexibility among methods used in both quantitative and qualitative research and that flexibility is not an indication of how scientifically rigorous a method is. Rather, the degree of flexibility reflects the kind of understanding of the problem that is being pursued using the method. What are the advantages of qualitative methods for exploratory research? One advantage of qualitative methods in exploratory research is that use of open-ended questions and probing gives participants the opportunity to respond in their own words, rather than forcing them to choose from fixed responses, as quantitative methods do. Open-ended questions have the ability to evoke responses that are: • • • meaningful and culturally salient to the participant unanticipated by the researcher rich and explanatory in nature Another advantage of qualitative methods is that they allow the researcher the flexibility to probe initial participant responses – that is, to ask why or how. The researcher

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