Presentation on theme: "5 Designing the research instrument. It is essential that the research instrument to be employed in a Focus Assessment Study is precisely related to the."— Presentation transcript:
5 Designing the research instrument
It is essential that the research instrument to be employed in a Focus Assessment Study is precisely related to the research aims and objectives. This in turn relates to the output (report) of the project.
Designing the research instrument Aim: to identify HIV risk behaviour and factors affecting it amongst a particular group of drug users Research instrument: designed to discover what risks are being taken and the circumstances under which they occur Final report: details of risk behaviours and why they occur.
Qualitative research instruments designed to facilitate the examination of the interviewee's world from their point of view give interviewee the opportunity to answer a question or discuss a theme in depth, and for the interviewer to ask follow-up questions
Qualitative research instruments too structured does not allow interviewees to put forward their own point of view and experiences too unstructured may result in too many data that are irrelevant to the study
Avoid: Complex and technical language Multiple questions 'What do you feel about the risks of sharing syringes now as opposed to five years ago?‘ Leading questions 'Why is there so much prostitution around here?' Should be: 'Is there any prostitution in this area?' or 'Tell me about prostitution around here.'
Interview themes The list of themes of topics to be covered in a themed interview should be as short as possible whilst incorporating all the issues required by the aims and objectives of the study. The aim of a themed interview is to elicit in-depth responses on each theme, and interviewees should not be interrupted because the list is too long and the interviewer wants to move onto the next theme.
Interview themes Themes may not be addressed in the order in which they are laid out in the research instrument. A new theme is introduced in a simple way, such as 'Let's talk about..... now' or 'Can I ask you about..... now?' Some themes may not need an introduction as the interviewee may spontaneously discuss them.
Focus group themes
Observational guide Setting People Activities Signs Acts Events Time Goals Connections
Pilot the research instrument to: identify any problems such as the wording of questions, the length of the interview, and whether the research instrument has been compiled in a logical fashion test the interviewers' / focus group moderators’ ability to administer the research instrument and indicate whether further training is required.
6 Data collection
Setting Where will you conduct interviews or focus groups? How will you arrange the furniture? Will you be able to ensure privacy?
Interviewing Introduction time thanks refreshments purpose confidentiality anonymity agreement for tape recording / purpose of note-taker
Essential skills for interviewers 1Trained to conduct interviews Role play Reading transcribed interviews Listening to / watching interview tapes Watching more experienced interviewers at work
Essential skills for interviewers 2An understanding of the relevant research and drug-related issues How interviews fit into the whole project Basic concepts related to drug use, drug services, legal issues
Essential skills for interviewers 3Good communication and rapport Show a genuine interest in interviewees and their responses Image management Knowledge of local slang
Essential skills for interviewers 4Non-judgmental attitude Disapproval / approval of responses
Essential skills for interviewers 5Ability to observe verbal and non-verbal cues What do you do when the interviewee is bored? tired? angry? upset? embarrassed?
Essential skills for interviewers 6 Ability to follow up responses with a view to exploring emerging issues whilst adhering to the research instrument Balance between encouraging the interviewee to talk and discouraging them from giving information unrelated to the aims of the study.
Essential skills for interviewers 6 Ability to follow up responses with a view to exploring emerging issues whilst adhering to the research instrument Interrupt to move to next question / theme? Make connections / recognise contradictions. Use non-directive probes.
Examples of non-directive probes 'Tell me more about...' 'Take me through exactly what happens when you...' 'Can you give me an example of…?' 'Did I understand you correctly when you said...?' 'Can you explain a bit more what you mean by...?' 'Why do you think that is the case?' 'Do you think everyone thinks that?'
Essential skills for interviewers 7Ability to adapt to the situation What do you do if…. an interviewee is under the influence of drugs? other people come within earshot of the interview?
Essential skills for interviewers 1 Trained to conduct interviews 2 An understanding of the relevant research and drug- related issues 3 Good communication and rapport 4 Non-judgmental attitude 5 Ability to observe verbal and non-verbal cues 6 Ability to follow up responses with a view to exploring emerging issues whilst adhering to the research instrument 7 Ability to adapt to the situation
Moderating focus groups The crucial difference between a focus group and an interview is that group interaction reduces the data collector's control of the process: the role of a moderator is not to lead like an interviewer, but to guide.
Moderating focus groups Greet and thank participants Refreshments Introduction Purpose Confidentiality Anonymity Agreement for tape recording / purpose of note-taker Ground rules
Moderating focus groups The focus group moderator's tasks are to encourage divergent thought, encourage participants to talk to each other, and to make the experience energetic and informal.
Moderating focus groups To maximise contributions to the discussion, every participant has to feel that their opinion matters. It is possible that there will be one or two participants who try and dominate the discussion and one or two who need encouragement to contribute.
How to encourage non-contributors 'If you have a different opinion from those you've heard so far, I want to hear it, because you'll be representing a sizeable proportion of people out there who just did not happen to be in this focus group.' 'Let's hear a different perspective on this from someone else.' 'I haven't heard from you yet.'
If the discussion falters… Ask participants to complete sentences such as 'The most dangerous thing about drug use is...', 'The best way to prevent HIV transmission is...', 'I would advise a young person to...' Leave the room for a few minutes in order to encourage participants to talk amongst themselves. Ask participants what they are not saying.
At the end of the focus group Summarise main points, ask if participants agree. Ask participants how they experienced the session and if they have any questions. Thank participants and end the session. Be the last to leave the room.
Immediately after the focus group Moderator and note-taker make notes / tape record: a description of their impressions of the interaction between participants incidents that hindered or facilitated the discussion the general atmosphere of the group the extent to which they think the participants 'opened up.‘ Review note-taker’s notes.
Focus groups: supplementary questionnaire To collect structured / sensitive data (age, gender, educational achievements, drug use). Administer before or after focus group?
Recording responses from interviews and focus groups The interviewer or focus group moderator takes notes of responses and writes them up more fully after the session? A note-taker attends the interview or focus group? The interview or focus group is tape recorded?
Interviewer or focus group moderator takes notes of responses and writes them up more fully after the session loss of eye contact non-verbal cues missed small cues missed informant is distracted signals about which responses are important and which are not informant may try to dictate what is written down informant inhibited reliant on memory
Use of a note-taker Avoids some of disadvantages of having the interviewer or moderator taking notes, but the note-taker will not be able to write down every word.
Tape recording Use a note-taker to record non-verbal responses and overall impressions of the session Explain tape recorder to interviewees / focus group participants: stress confidentiality, access to the tape limited, destroyed after transcription Use 2 tape recorders Spare batteries Good quality machine Site of machine
Transcribing tape recordings Allocate sufficient human and financial resources 1 hour tape = up to 6 hours to transcribe fully up to 20 A4 sheets of paper in size 12 font
Transcribing tape recordings How much should be transcribed?
Transcribing tape recordings of focus groups Include non-verbal cues noted by the note-taker Try and distinguish between voices Indicate speakers’ gender in mixed groups Add impressions from note-taker and moderator
Researchers’ fieldnotes Useful additional data source Can include: comments on own feelings during interviews / focus groups potentially useful observations about, for example, the settings in which data collection took place.
Monitor data collection Data collectors meet regularly with rest of research team to discuss: experiences in the field problems with research instrument problems with access