Qualitative research generates descriptive and explanatory data, rather than predicting causal relationships or quantifying variation. The Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness (CPCE) at CHOP engages in qualitative research with children and families to better understand the complex context for how patients experience a given issue of interest to researchers. Investigators use systematic qualitiative research methods for collecting information on behaviors, beliefs, opinions, emotions, or human relationships. CPCE investigators also collect information on how these behaviors, beliefs, opinions, emotions, and human relationships interact with social norms, socioecomic status, gender, ethnicity, religion, etc.
Qualitative research methods, initially developed in the social and behavioral sciences, look at variables in the natural setting in which they are found. Accepted methods include participant observation, in-depth/or key informant interviews and focus groups. The data from these methods are collected as field notes, audio or video recordings, and transcripts.
CPCE investigators use qualitative studies with children to generate hypotheses for quantitative research, as well as to better understand quantitative research results among defined populations.