Qualitative design adds meaning to the data collected and provides valuable context to the information.
- Capture and discover meaning once the researcher becomes immersed in the data
- Concepts are in the form of themes, motifs, generalizations and taxonomies
- Measures are created in an ad hoc manner and are often specific to the individual setting or researcher
- Data are in the form of words and images from documents, observations, and transcripts
- Theory can be causal or noncausal and is often inductive
- Research procedures are particular, and replication is very rare
- Analysis proceeds by extracting themes or generalizations from evidence and organizing data to present a coherent, consistent picture
excerpt from Social Research Methods W.Lawrence Neuman 6th edition Ch.6 pg 157
Common qualitative research tools include, but are not limited to:
- Surveys or Questionnaires- structured, semi-strucutred or a combination
- Interviews- structured, semi-structured, open or a combination
- Focus groups employing open/closed questions to gather information from a selected group
- Observation- in the form of field notes recorded while observing a particular research site/activities. Can be done by individual research participants in the form of a diary or journal recording activities on a regular basis and submitted to be analyzed later
These are common and preferred methods for Community-Based Research projects conducted with the HIV population in BC. They provide the descriptive basis for “pratice-based” evidence to inform programming and policy for HIV support services.
CBR principles are truly embraced when the research tools above are employed by trained peer research assistants- members of the HIV community- hired to gather the data.