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Flashcards in Session 2 Deck (9):

Distinguish between quantitative and qualitative methods

Quantitative - collection of numerical date e.g. RCT, questionnaire, cohort and case control studies, cross sectional surveys
Qualitative - make sense of phenomena, emphasises meaning, experience and views of respondents, insight into behaviour e.g. observation and ethnography, interviews, focus groups, documents


Describe observation and ethnography, interviews, focus groups and documents

Observation and ethnography - studying human behaviour in its natural context
Interviews - prompt guide, clear agenda, conversational, emphasis on participants giving perspective
Focus groups - establish parameters, access group based, collective understanding of issues, need homogenous group and good facilitator
Documents - independent evidence --> analysis of secondary data


Describe the pros and cons of quantitative research methods

++ - describing, measuring e.g. patterns, finding relationships, allowing comparisons
-- - may force people into inappropriate categories, can't express in way they want, may not access all important information, may not establish causality


Describe the pros and cons of qualitative research methods

++ - explains relationships, understanding perspective, accessing information
-- - finding consistent relationships, generalisability


Identify appropriate study designs for different types of research questions

Topic/research question
Research team's preference/expertise
Time and money available
Finders and/or audience


Define the term 'evidence based practice'

The integration of individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systemic research


Describe some difficulties of getting evidence into practise

Doctors don't know about evidence
Doctors know about but don't use evidence
Organisational systems can't support innovation
Commissioning decisions reflect different priorities
Resources not available to implement change


Offer a critical perspective of getting evidence into practise

Impossible to create and maintain systematic reviews across all specialties
Challenging/expensive to implement
RCTs are gold standard but not always feasible/desirable
Choice of outcomes often biomedical --> limit funding
Aggregate, population based outcomes don't mean success for an individual
EBM to create 'unreflective rule followers' out of professionals
Legitimising rationing --> undermine trust in doctor/patient relationship
Professional responsibility/autonomy


Describe a range of social science methods for investigating health and illness