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Week two Notes

by: Brittany Lopez

Week two Notes Psy 7 RMH

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Brittany Lopez

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The practice of qualitative research
Research Methods for Mental Health
Dr Zoë Boden
Class Notes
research methods, Psychology
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Brittany Lopez on Monday October 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psy 7 RMH at LSBU taught by Dr Zoë Boden in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see Research Methods for Mental Health in Psychology at LSBU.

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Date Created: 10/17/16
The practice of qualitative research Week 2  Reflexivity o Reflexivity is a contested concept in qualitative research o What is reflexivity?  Self­awareness and critical consideration of how and in what ways, you  (the researcher) have shaped the knowledge you have produced  A continuum from a way of checking whether 'subjective bias' has crept  into your analysis  To a methodology, a resource for generating knowledge o If reflexivity is to be taken seriously then it impacts the whole research process o Domains of impact  RQs and aims of research  Sample choice and reruitment  Data­collection methods and processes  Analysis  Write­up (and publication choices) Reflexivity involves careful and honest consideration of o  Power  Bias  Assumptions and beliefs o And it requires critical thinking skills and ability to reflect honestly on thoughts  and feelings o As a researcher, we can become more self­aware in terms of our  Age, gender, ethnicity, class, SES, education  Personal experience of the topic  Investment in research outcomes  Relationship between yourself and participants (or group)  Relationship between yourself and gate­keepers and stakeholders of  research  Feelings about and towards participants  Assumptions and world view  Theoretical orientations  Reflexivity: Practical strategies o Is a process, not a 'thing' you can't 'do it at the end' o Keeping research journal/diary is strongly recommended  Don't censor it; just write everything you think about (only you will read  your diary, although you can choose to quote from it if you wish)  Will help you acknowledge own potential biases or blind­spots and  therefore improve validity of research  Feelings/thoughts should be written down when they come up, at any  point during the research process  Particular self­inquiry should be undertaken before and after data­ collection (e.g. before and after an interview) and during analytic phases Paying attention to what you share with, and how you differ from, your   participants can be a good place to start  Overview of Ethics o What are ethics?  Principles by which we carry out research  Guidelines to help us fulfill those principles  Not black and white­often tensions between different areas and needs o Who decides them?  BPS  School uni., hospital, NHS ethics boards, often several tiers of board o NB: Ethics includes protecting the researcher as well as participants, so  researchers shouldn't be exposed to risky situations  Key Areas o Autonomy and dignity  Consent  Withdrawal  Briefing and debriefing  Confidentiality and anonymity o Scientific value  Scientific and scholarly standards  Clarity with aims, robust methods o Social responsibility  Knowledge should be generated and used for beneficial purposes,  contributing to 'common good'  Self­reflective practice  Alert to unexpected and predictable outcomes  Acknowledge problematic nature of interpretation or research o Maximizing benefit, minimizing harm  Physical, emotional, mental harm, distress and risk must be avoided  Harm and risks should be no greater than is faced in normal life (e.g.  invasive intervention, humiliation, deception)  Judgement needs to be applied when research aims and methods are in  tension potential harm  Awareness of power differences  Sensitivity towards participants  Avoidance of labeling (e.g. 'normal')  Common concerns o Consent  All participants should give 'full and free' informed consent  The participant must be able to give consent (children, vulnerable persons)  They must understand what they are consenting to  They must know they can withdraw within a stated period (as long as  feasible)  If interviewing a participant, it's good practice to record the participant  giving consent at the start of the interview as well as written consent o Briefing and debriefing  Aims and predicted outcomes  Data types and methods  Confidentiality and anonymity conditions  Compliance with data protection  Time commitment required  Right to decline any request for info  Right to withdraw  Any risks associated  Names and contact details of researcher, supervisors, and  college/uni/hospital/school etc. o Debriefing  Should reveal any deception used  Should reveal any info that was withheld  The participant should leave the study how they came in  How feasible is this in qualitative research? What is the  alternative?  Participants should have time to ask questions o Confidentiality  Data kept securely and separately to consent forms/anything with names  Should be able to take part in research in private settings  Participant should not be identifiable by name or details Confidentiality is not absolute­you may have to break confidentiality if   other concerns are paramount  Children and vulnerable people o Issues around informed consent  See BPS guidelines  Young people and kids under 16 need parent/guardian permission  As well as consent from parent/guardian, necessary to make sure child is  consenting/assenting to study even as it is underway o Safeguarding issues  If your research involves anyone 18 or under, or any vulnerable adults,  then a DBS certificate is required o Vulnerable adults include, but not limited to those with psychiatric diagnosis or  learning difficulties, elderly people, people in palliative care, people living in  institutions, homeless people, etc. o Vulnerable people are those considered to not necessarily be able to give full and  free consent to participation in research, or who may find it difficult to withhold their  consent  Broader ethical considerations o Consider own safety and comfort as well as participant when planning where  research will take place o Think before involving people you know in your research o Recruitment may be a sensitive issue, for example, taking part in study may label  someone with a particular identity o Issues of power are also important in recruitment. Can someone really feel free to  make a decision about taking part if they are asked by someone who is in a position  of power  What is meant by power?  Deception and disclosure o Deception­best avoid it. If part of research design discuss with supervisor o Deception could also include not disclosing any vested interest you have in a  topic  Ex. If you have personal experience of the phenomenon/experience,  consider whether and/or how you are going to disclose it  What if you don't disclose and participants later found out­would it be  distressing?  Disclosing too much might effect research negatively, or turn focus on  your experience and not participants  Withdrawal o All participants have right to withdraw at any time during research process, but  once data is collected and analyzed, this might not be possible o Must not promise what you can't deliver o But must give people every opportunity to withdraw their data if they want  Anonymity and Confidentiality o At every stage of the procedure this should be considered o When collecting data will you know the person's names? Will you meet them in  person? o How will you anonymize the data? Changing names isn't usually enough, what  would happen if someone could identify them? o Keeping things confidential­ think carefully about keeping recordings (keep them  separate from any identifying info) how long do you need them? o What do you mean by confidential? Confidential to just you? You and supervisor? A research group? Be precise, and don't promise what you don't mean o If it someone discloses something that concerns you, do not break confidentiality  before talking to a supervisor  Safety o Safety of the participant is paramount, as is your own safety o Consider whether a risk­assessment is necessary o If you're meeting participant alone, especially if it's in their own home, make  plans to protect yourself (often not allowed)  Give someone you trust info about where you will be at what times­­ the  'check in, check out procedure'  Arrange to call them before a certain time. Make sure they know what to  do if you don't call! o If you ever feel unsafe with a participant, make an excuse and leave  Trust instincts!  Distress o Qualitative research nearly always carry the potential for distress, even if it seems  unlikely o Sensitive awareness before, during and after a research encounter is required o The participant comes before your research at all times o If distress is possible, support materials, or phone numbers of support  organizations must be provided and included in application form o Consider contacting participants (e.g. by email) after interview to thank them,  give opportunity to ask you any questions or give any feedback that they didn't want  to give face­to­face o Just because a participant is showing signs of distress doesn't mean you are being  a bad researcher­ some topics are distressing and trying to avoid that part of the  participants experience may be unethical too (and disrespectful) o Strike a balance­ ensure participants are aware they can stop, take a break, or  withdraw. Check in with them at intervals o Consider asking a different question if a participant seems to be struggling­ judge  tone and mood of encounter sensitively o Be careful not to take a counselling role in research encounter o Participants should be given time to ask questions at end of encounter o If any deception, it must be revealed now o Re­assure the participant about what will happen next o If you are planning to email and thank them, tell them and stick to that  arrangement o Confirm that the participant is still happy to have consented o If encounter has been distressing, consider spending some time with participant  chatting about research or other topics to ensure you don't leave them in a vulnerable  state o The nature of qualitative research means that invariably the participant will have  changed during the interview process­ this is usually for the good, as many people  enjoy being heard and even talking about difficult things can be relieving,  empowering or even cathartic for participants  Payment o Payment can be seen as an inducement and therefore could impact on consent  issues o Sometimes a token of thanks is given, e.g. a voucher, instead of cash o If you feel strongly about this, you could discuss it with a supervisor, however, in  qualitative studies, mostly people take part because they want to and they get  something out of the process as well  Running a study o Overview  Qualitative research is  Time consuming  Intensive  Precise/nit­picky  Personally demanding  Ethically complex  Frustrating  Deeply rewarding – a privilege  Creative  Meaningful  Moving  Practicalities: Recruitment o Unlikely to find people on RPS o Need specialist populations for a lot of qualitative research o Access­ be realistic o Gate­keepers­who? Access? o Permissions (necessary ethical approvals) o Methods  Posters, emails, social media, in person, giving presentations o Privacy of recruitment o Avoiding coercion  Practicalities of interviewing o Needs a conducive environment  Ethics and to encourage good quality data Know your schedule 'off by heart' o  It guides you but doesn't dictate the interview  You can change order, ask questions differently, respond to novel areas o Audio recording  More complete record  Interviewer can concentrate  May put respondent off, make them nervous Make sure to know how to use it and remember to switch on, take back up  batteries  Piloting o Initial piloting of the interview guide With participants representative of the target group   Learn how long the interview is likely to take  Develop ways to prompt interviewees without putting words in their  mouth Develop a comfortable interviewing style   For both you and interviewee  Make changes if necessary o Interviewing technique  Importance of building rapport  Follow up interesting avenues  Be patient­don't rush in  Listen to (and feel) what is happening  Respond by sequencing of questions  Think about where to probe­e.g. "can you say more?"  Check if participant is comfortable (ethics)  Asymmetry  Ensure that interviewer's precognitions don't limit the interviewee's  contribution  Notes  The researcher in the interview o Subjectivity is at the heart of qualitative research o Researcher has a role in all parts of the research o In interviews how we think, feel and behave will shape the kind of data we get o "co­construction" of knowledge o People will be more open if they like you, trust you, and feel safe/confident with  you o They will say more and speak more in depth if you give them the space and  encouragement to do so and if you're warm and empathic with them o If you're judgmental and mechanical they'll stop talking  Ethical considerations in interviews o Minimize chances of causing unnecessary upset to your interviewees­ prepare by  thinking through carefully o Check (and check again) that the interviewees doesn't mind being recorded o Check ongoing consent (assent)  Be prepared to have a 'time out' if the interviewee becomes distressed  Remind them they don't have to answer  It may be necessary to stop the interview­ ask what they prefer o Debrief transparently o Consider following up with thank you email o Ensure confidentiality and anonymity  Recordings and transcripts identified by pseudonyms  Stored in secure, locked place  Keep consent forms separate from transcripts  After the interview o  check tapes are audible and that you can read any notes taken o Write up field notes/reflections  What happened  What you think about it  Any theoretical ideas you're forming  Anything that seemed particularly important  How you felt during and afterwards  How you think the participants felt  Any non­verbal points that you want to remember  Paperwork required o For any research study  Info sheet  Consent  Debrief o Think about self­disclosure­ how will you introduce yourself o Think about specific ethical risks (and benefits) o Think about what you're asking them to do­ be honest about what the interview  will entail o Think about what you plan to do with the data (possibility of publication?) o Think about support post­interview  Info sheet o Title of study, where it's being conducted and by whom o Prose description of the study  Aims of study  Methods  Length of commitment  Anonymity/confidentiality  Ethical approval  Right to withdraw o Full contact details of lead researcher  Consent form o Title of study, where it's being conducted and by whom o Rights of the participant  Info about study  Ask questions  Anonymity  Confidentiality  Right to withdraw  Possibility of publishing o Conformation of age (if appropriate) o Signatures and date  Debriefing o A written sheet, similar to the briefing form o Thanks o Reminder of what the research was about o Appropriate support organizations o Info on how you will follow up (if appropriate) o Researcher contact details o NB: Templates of all these will be made available to you


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