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How We Can Use Qualitative Analysis In Healthcare Field

Making Use of Qualitative Analysis in Healthcare

qualitative analysis in healthcareQualitative analysis in healthcare as well as qualitative analysis for social scientists or qualitative analysis in education is an excellent tool for determining how to better serve patients and meet their particular needs. Qualitative research focuses more on the why, how and what of things, than on specific numerical data. Both research and practice in healthcare benefit from qualitative analysis methods. To a certain extent, the nursing field has made use of qualitative methods in patient treatment for some time. It is becoming a more widely accepted method of patient treatment due to the success it has experienced, and many nursing programs base their course on qualitative principals. Its use in research is also effective as it enables researchers to view thing from the patients perspective. Instead of trying to determine how many times something has occurred, qualitative methods try to discover why it occurred. Researchers investigate the experiences people have had with the different aspects of healthcare, identify themes in the experiences and make effective changes to provide better care.

Qualitative Research in Healthcare

Qualitative health research will go through a series of steps to arrive at the answers researchers are looking for. The steps involved are:

  1. Conceptualizing and planning – Identify the question, identify a site for data collection and make preliminary contact with key people at the data collection site.
  2. Data collection – Qualitative data collection methods include existing papers and documents, observation, interviews and surveys.
  3. Data analysis – Analyze the data collected, using the method that best fits your needs. Data analysis can be a time consuming process.
  4. Interpretation – Determining what your analysis results mean.

The findings of a qualitative analysis in healthcare are often used to form hypotheses that can be tested using quantitative methods.

The Data Analyzing Process in Healthcare Research

There are several methods of qualitative data analysis that can be used in healthcare research. Coding, interpretive techniques, recursive abstraction and content analysis are methods that researchers use. Data analysis is made up of the following steps:

  1. Organize the data and get it prepared for analysis.
  2. Read all of the data to get a feeling for the whole.
  3. Begin a detailed analysis with the coding process
  4. Write a description of the setting and people involved as well as the categories/themes for analysis.
  5. Identify the themes
  6. Interpret the data and make some meaning out of it.

Types of Qualitative Research

There are many types of qualitative research that researchers in healthcare can use. The type of research is usually chosen based on the data to be analyzed and how the results will be used. Some of the types of research include:

  • Phenomenology – Describes the subjective reality of an event from the study population’s point of view. The method used in phenomenology is usually interviews.
  • Grounded theory – Grounded theory is an inductive type of research. It uses a variety of data resourcesthat may include review of records, interviews, observations and surveys.
  • Ethnographic methods – Involves sorting through data to detect and interpret thematic categories, search for contradictions and inconsistencies, and arrive at conclusions about what is happening and why.

The National Center for Health Statistics http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ is one place to begin looking for more information on healthcare research.

Qualitative analysis in healthcare is what you can get there effortlessly!