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Advanced Qualitative Methods hosted by the Qualitative Methods Learning Collaborative

Explaining Complex Outcomes Using Qualitative Data: Pairing Qualitative and Configurational Methods To Evaluate Veteran Community Reintegration

by Edward Miech, EdD ; Nicholas Rattray, PhD
Seminar date: 3/14/2022

Description: Qualitative health research does not necessarily require an outcome (e.g., thematic analysis of implementation barriers and facilitators). Sometimes, though, qualitative data can play an important role in explaining a complex outcome, accounting for both nuance and context. Matrix displays are one approach for identifying cross-case patterns linking qualitative conditions with outcomes of interest, but complex or large datasets can present challenges. Recently, configurational analysis has emerged as a new analytic option that allows qualitative researchers to systematically evaluate an entire dataset, large or small, and identify the crucial difference-making conditions. In this study, the researchers pair two distinct approaches—qualitative thematic analysis and configurational analysis—to explain a complex outcome (veteran community reintegration) using interview data. Configurational analysis identified specific solution pathways to the outcome, whereas qualitative thematic analysis provided in-depth, context-sensitive explanations for different elements of the model.

Review Modeling Contingency in Veteran Community Reintegration: A Mixed Methods Approach
Intended Audience: Researchers, fellows, and staff interested in learning about how to pair qualitative and configurational methods

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DOWNLOAD: PDF handout | Audio only (mp3) | transcript

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