GCU Non Numerical Data Is Collected to Comprehend Concepts Discussion

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At its most basic level, qualitative research attempts to analyze data that cannot be quantified—often perceptions, attitudes, and experiences. There are various methods of accomplishing this. Three methods of qualitative data collection include interviews, focus groups, and observation.

Interviews may be structured, semi structured, or unstructured, and include one individual or a group of individuals (Gill, et al., 2008). Interviews are best suited for gaining a more in-depth understanding of sensitive issues and poorly-understood social phenomena (Gill, et al., 2008), for example, individuals’ or families’ perceptions of and/or experiences in health care. Gaining that understanding could provide insight into what types of public health interventions are doomed to fail due to under-utilization, and which might be successful and well-received.

Focus groups are similar to interviews, but focus on a particular topic, and are guided and monitored. They are useful for understanding collective views and group norms (Gill, et al., 2008), such as the accepted health practices and beliefs of a particular community.

Finally, qualitative observation, in which a researcher becomes are participant in or observer of the natural environment of the research subjects or setting, provides a rich understanding of a group’s or community’s day-to-day experiences (Rabinowitz, n.d.). It is best suited for gaining an understanding of group or community behavior in a public context (Rabinowitz, n.d.).

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