Thursday, January 24, 2008

Resources for qualitative health services research

The use of qualitative methods for health services research poses significant challenges in effective study design and data collection particularly when study objectives include information technology. The British National Health Service (NHS) Health Technology Assessment Program offers an extensive review of these methods entitled-
Qualitative Research Methods in Health Technology Assessment: A Review of the Literature (1998) available at
Although this report is now ten years old, it provides a very rich historical overview of qualitative methods in technology assessment as well as a discussion of the relation between quantitative and qualitative approaches and criteria for methods selection.

The online journal The Qualitative Report at offers a wide range of links in addition to online articles.

Another resource is:

Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector's Field Guide (2005)
By Natasha Mack, Cynthia Woodsong, Kathleen M. MacQueen, Greg Guest, and Emily Namey

This ebook from Family Health International is available in PDF format at
The following is a description of the reference from the website:

This how-to guide covers the mechanics of data collection for applied qualitative research. It is appropriate for novice and experienced researchers alike. It can be used as both a training tool and a daily reference manual for field team members. Its question and answer format and modular design make it easy for readers to find information on a particular topic quickly. The Data Collector's Field Guide includes:

-Self-contained modules for each research method (including participant observation, in-depth interviews, and focus group discussions)
-Ethical guidelines for each method
-Case study samples with notes, forms, and transcripts
-Tips for taking field notes for specific methods
-Steps and checklists for what to do and bring for each type of data collection
-Exercises for training data collectors in each method
-Tools for data managers
-Suggested readings

This guide is particularly useful for its focus on research in public health and development.

No comments: