Data Sources, Data Preparation and Analysis Plan –Qualitative (100 points): This
assignment (and the parallel one for your quantitative component) requires each student
individually to develop key components of a proposal for a qualitative public health research
project. You do not conduct the study in this course: our focus is on learning to plan research. In
this assignment, you describe how you intend to address the research project questions from a
qualitative perspective. Qualitative research can provide important perspectives on peoples’
experiences, program operations, and policy implementation that can have direct impacts on
theory, practice, and policy in public health. These same methods can also be used to
contextualize, develop measures, and develop conceptual frames or hypotheses for quantitative
research. In this plan, the student needs to explain the qualitative methods you will use
answering your research question and what you expect to find/contribute to the literature. This
plan includes a clear statement of research goals and justifications for these goals, a specific
statement of the sources of data for your analysis and a justification for using primary or
secondary sources. If the student is proposing primary data as the source (such as interviews with
community members, thought leaders, clinicians etc.) you need to include a description of the
sampling approach and data collection methods (including recruitment, informed consent,
procedures and questions). If the student is using program products (such as curriculum
materials, clinical notes, meeting reports) they must also explain how they will identify and
select these. If relevant, each student must address how they will assess saturation for the
qualitative interview sample. Whatever the proposed data sources, the student needs to explain
the procedures to prepare data for analysis. Students must explain their plan to derive key
concepts, identify comparative factors, and adoption of grounded theory, narrative or linguistic
analysis approach. If the plan is to develop a narrative analysis, the student must explain how
they will address temporal changes, differences in perspective, and gaps in available data.
Whatever the focus and data for this qualitative component, they must describe and justify the
approach in detail. The draft of this assignment will be reviewed by the professor and feedback
will be provided in a team meeting.
This assignment (and the parallel one for your quantitative component) has you draft the most important sections of the Methods Chapter a, thesis or the methods section in a journal articles. This report provides and overview of how you intend to address the research project questions from a qualitative perspective. Qualitative research can provide important perspectives on people’s experiences, program operations, and policy implementation that can have direct impacts of theory, practice, and policy in public health. These same methods can also be used to contextualize, develop measures, and develop conceptual frames or hypotheses for quantitative research. In this plan, you need to explain the role that qualitative methods will have in answering your research question and how the particular purpose for this qualitative component is best met through your proposed methods. This plan includes a specific statement of the sources of data for your analysis and a justification for using primary or secondary sources. If you are proposing primary data as the source (such as interviews with community members, thought leaders, clinicians etc.) you need to include a description of the sampling approach and data collection methods (including recruitment, informed consent, procedures and questions). If you are using program products (such as curriculum materials, clinical notes, meeting reports) you must also explain how you will identify and select these. If relevant, you must address how you will assess saturation for the qualitative interview sample. Whatever your data source, you need to explain the procedures you will use to prepare data for analysis and to create measures of key constructs. Overall your strategies in this analysis and presentation of the study must also be described. You also need to document the potential limitations of your study.
Here is a recommended 10 section outline. The whole paper should be 10 pages or less single-spaced.
1) Introduction: Restate the gap in the literature that motivates your study and the research question(s). Describe the overall goal of the study, explaining whether it is about sense-making, describing the health-relevant features of a community or system, or understanding the evolution and implementation of a policy or program.
2) Research Approach: Describe your overall approach to this research, citing prior studies as methodological models. Clarify which factors related to your study constructs you will control (i will study people who do and don’t have colon cancer) and which you will explore (i will ask about their spiritual beliefs and experiences of pain) (i will review websites and conduct interviews…..and assess how much they are accessible to non-English speakers.)
3) Sample acquisition: how will you select units (persons, communities, or provider organizations)====what are the inclusion and exclusion rule. Describe how you will find these units and how many you will find. For example, I will complete 4 focus groups with parents whose children attend ECE in different parts of the county. Each focus group will have up to 10 people who are the primary caregivers for a child in the program)
4) Data collection: explain the entire procedure how the data will be collected. How the sessions will be moderated. What questions will be asked to individuals or posed to groups? How the data will be transcribed using a tape and software? (your data may be in other forms—for example, it might consist of lessons plans from multiple health education providers or hospital financial reports or mapping of resources—-you would still explain how you obtained it or how the source created secondary data.)
5) Human subjects. What will you do to protect the privacy and safety of project participants? Will you need and apply for IRB approval? )
6) Data preparation provide a short summary of the data that you will derive from the information you collected. Will it be in the form of transcriptions of recorded interviews, notes from focus groups, clinical records, programmatic materials etc.? Will the data be stored in a qualitative research analysis program such as NVivo and will this software be used to support analysis? If data is collected in another language, how will it be translated?
7) Development of key constructs and variables: Describe in as much detail as possible how you identify key constructs and how you will code data based on these constructs to create variables. If you propose to use grounded theory or narrative analysis approaches, describe how you will identify constructs by coding and recoding snippets of data. If you are applying an existing typology or the categories of a theory, how will you code snippets of data or extended narratives into the categories. (For example, if you are thinking that the health beliefs model is relevant to your analysis, how will you decide what data is relevant to beliefs about susceptibility, severity, benefits and self-efficacy and then what it shows about each of these beliefs in relation to your questions? If you are describing a system of care, dimensions of the description (for example, available, accessible, affordable) will you apply and how will you decide which data is related to each of these? How will you determine if construct saturation has been achieved and if your sample is large enough to produce reliable data?
8) Exploring relationships among variables: describe in as much detail as possible how you compare findings on key constructs between units. For example, if you collect data on affordability of programs, how will compare what you find from each program to the others and how will you develop a summary. For example, if you are exploring how educators think about their students in urban and rural programs, how will you compare themes reflected in their statements and develop ideas about how the two groups are similar and different?
9) Presenting evidence and conclusions: describe how you will present your findings so that readers can understand what you learned. Will you show examples of each major theme in text or summarize these observations in sections of text? Will you show how different groups or different agencies differ on these themes in a figure that highlights differences. If you are applying a typology or an existing theory, how will you show what you learned about the variations in your data related to each major category or construct in model you are using, (By the way, you might want to count how often a particular theme occurs in order to highlight its importance to your respondents but don’t propose a quantitative table that counts how many people in each of two or more groups express each theme since this would be treating the qualitative data as if it were derived from a representative sample.)
10) Identifying limitations and threats to validity: describe how you will identify threats to validity and other limitations to your study. Will you describe saturation of themes to demonstrate an adequate sample? Will you compare your study participants to a larger demographic or epidemiological data set to provide evidence for its representativeness? How will you identify what you might have missed by not asking more about specific questions? How will get at the candidness, depth of reflection, quality of memories from your participants or the capacity and willingness of agencies to provide complete information? How will you summarize these observations to draw conclusions about the overall potential validity of your study?
Data Sources, Data Preparation and Analysis Plan –Qualitative (100 points): This