Flashcards in HaDSoc 2.2- social science research methods. Deck (31):
Why do we need social science research?
To understand better about patients social lives.
Why do doctors specifically need to know about social science research methods?
Many policies are based on the research, so you need to be able to access, appraise and use the research.
What are the 2 main groups of social science research?
Broadly, what is quantitative research?
Using numerical data to research a hypothesis and draw conclusions.
What are some designs/ways of doing quantitative research?
-case control study
-national surverys (eg by charities)
-local and regional surverys (eg via NHS organisations)
What is the main form of gathering quantitative data for research?
What 2 things must questionaires be?
What does Valid mean, in terms of questionaires?
Does the questionaire measure what it's supposed to?
What does reliable mean, in terms of questionaires?
does it measure things consistently?
Any differences in response should be due to differences between participants, not due to differences in interpretation of the question.
What's the difference between a published and an unpublished questionnaire?
published questionaires have been tested for validity and reliability, so you can be more confident using them.
Unpublished have not been tested for validity or reliability so you have to use them with more caution.
How can questionnaires be completed? What are any issues surrounding this?
self completed- eg on paper
administered- eg over the phone, internet or interview (this runs the risk of different administers asking questions differently, and so there can be inconsistency)
What types of questions are found in questionnaires?
Some have open questions, eg blank boxes, further comments.
What's the problem with open ended questions in a questionnaire?
thay take longer to complete so are less likely to be filled in.
They are harder to analyse.
What are the positives of quantitative research?
-good at measuring
-good at describing
-good for comparisons and finding relationships
-easier to analyse
What are some negatives of quantitative research?
-it can force some people into inappropriate boxes
-It doesn't give people the chance to express themselves how they'd want to
-You may not get all the important information you need (by not asking the right questions)
-may not be good at establishing causality.
Broadly, what is qualitative research?
looking more at patients experiences and persepective on situaitions. Better at providing insight into patients behavior.
What are the 4 main categories of qualitative research?
What is ethnography?
study peoples behavior in it's natural context
What are the 2 forms of ethnography?
Participant observation- the observer in actively participating in a role, eg being a clinician on a ward
Non participation observation- observer acts as a fly on the wall, only job is to observe.
What are some positives of ethnography?
It allows you to see first hand people's behaviors.
You may find things that pateints wouldn't have disclosed becuase they wouldnt have seen it to be relevant.
It removes pateints bias about their own accounts.
What is one major downside of observation?
It's very labour intensive.
How are interviews conducted?
They're semi-structured and patient lead,
More conversational in style
They allow patients to fully express themselves, with no leading questions by the interviewer
What are some issues surrounding interviews?
Patients chose what they tell you, can give biased accounts.
Interviewers may ask questions slightly differently, so responses may be different.
What are focus groups?
small group of people all sharing views together.
What are some issues surrounding patient groups?
-deviant views may not be expressed
- not so good for individual experiences
- difficult to organise
-may get one or 2 people overshadowing everybody else
-if doctors and nurses etc there, may be a power hierarchy
-a good facilitator is required to get everyone involved equally.
What is documentary analysis?
Looking at medical records and pateint diaries.
Somewhere between observing and interviewing.
What are teh advantages of documentary analysis?
-gives the inside story
-can provide histroical context
-Can be used to analyse media stories
What are some disadvantages of documentary analysis?
-Requires a lot of analysis to try and establish common themes- need coding of the date (inductive approach)
Overall, what are the advantages of qualitative research?
-provides insight into personal perspectives,
-can access infromation not fund by quantitative research.
-good for explaining relationships between variables (why certain things happen)
Overall, what are some disadvantages of qualitative research?
-Difficult to find consistent relationships
-Can't generalise the information, each account is individual and you can't assume it's representative of larger samples