Overview of Qualitative Research Methods
2.The three types of qualitative research are phenomenological, grounded theory, and ethnographic research. Compare the differences and similarities between two of the three types of qualitative studies and give an example of each.Overview of Qualitative Research Methods
Qualitative data is mainly presented as ‘mountains of words’ as it is intended to test hypotheses using semi-structured analysis and coding. Irrespective of the size of a qualitative research project (whether large or small), it would primarily focus on eliciting self-reports from participants/subjects and observations transcribed into field notes. Even a small qualitative research can easily generate a large volume of data. This creates a need to efficiently and effectively manage the voluminous qualitative data collected in research activities. There are two strategies that researchers can apply to manage and organize qualitative data (Glasper & Rees, 2017). The first strategy is to create a central repository where all the original raw data files are submitted and stored. This helps in tracking the data and research progress so that any missing data can be easily identified and the appropriate files uploaded again. The repository also helps in tracking the data for accuracy, quality and timeliness, as well as resolving inaudible voices for audio files and correcting spellings. Applying this strategy can occur through the use of database management software that provides a structured environment for effectively copying data from the initial sources. This allows for the data to be systematically linked to the sources. This strategy presents an extensive repository and database that contains much information but in an organized manner that allows for efficient analysis (Glasper & Rees, 2017). Overview of Qualitative Research Methods
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The second strategy is conducting qualitative analysis with the textual data. While the repository and database described in the first strategy provide voluminous data, the qualitative analysis would help with linking the data to the themes that emerged from reading the data. Particularly useful words and quotations can be identified to help with the thematic analysis thus ensuring that important points are presented without necessarily presenting all the voluminous information in the research report (Holloway & Galvin, 2017).
Phenomenological, grounded theory and ethnographic research are three different qualitative approaches. Phenomenological research focuses on understanding the essence of an experience. For instance, it can explore what acute pain means for patients suffering from advanced cancer. Its unit of analysis is studying the perspective of individuals who have been through the same experience. This approach is best applied in exploring and describing the essence of the lived phenomenon. It makes use of primary data collection approaches that directly engage participants, although observations and documents may also be used. Data analysis focuses on structural and textual descriptions, meaning units, and significant statements (Creswell & Poth, 2016).
Grounded theory focuses on developing a theory that is grounded on data collected from the field. For instance, it can explore how teenage mothers manage their childcare responsibilities. Its unit of analysis is studying the interaction/action/process of interest in terms of how it relates to many individuals. It is grounded on the views presented by the participants. It primarily makes use of interviews to collect data. Data analysis occurs through selective coding, axial coding and open coding (Creswell & Poth, 2016). Overview of Qualitative Research Methods
Ethnographic research focuses on describing and interpreting a cultural group. For instance, exploring what it means to live with cancer. The unit of analysis involves studying an interaction, action or process that involves many individuals. It addresses research problems concerned with describing and interpreting shared cultural patterns of a group. Data collection mainly occurs through interviews and observations. Data analysis occurs through themes about the group and description of the cultural group (Creswell & Poth, 2016).
Creswell, J. W., & Poth, C. N. (2016). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches (4th ed.). SAGE Publications.
Glasper, A., & Rees, C. (Eds.) (2017). Nursing and Healthcare Research at a Glance. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Holloway, I., & Galvin, K. (2017). Qualitative Research in Nursing and Healthcare (4th ed.). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Overview of Qualitative Research Methods