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Advanced Qualitative Methods hosted by the Qualitative Methods Learning Collaborative

The Power and Importance of Qualitative Observations in Research and Quality Improvement Work--When to use observational methods, refuting the Hawthorne effect, and foundational methodology on how to conduct observations

by Gemmae Fix, PhD ; Molly Harrod, PhD ; Bo Kim, PhD ; Megan McCullough, PhD
Seminar date: 2/10/2022
Seminar time: 12:00pm-1:00pm
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Description: Qualitative observations are an incredibly powerful tool. However, this methodology has a long history outside of health services research and thus may be underutilized in research and quality improvement settings. The presenters will provide a foundational understanding of how to collect qualitative observational data and how to select an appropriate environment, activity, process, and qualified staff to conduct the observations. These concepts will first be illustrated in an example from a VA research study. Next, the presenters will provide practical tips on when and how to use observation to inform research and quality improvement work. Specific examples will be presented highlighting the types of data collected and their significance. Attendees will learn how to appraise the strengths, limitations, and feasibility of using observation in healthcare systems.


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