First of all, let me just say I knew it! A grand total of ONE person has even clicked on yesterday’s research related post. Everyone just shuts down and shivers at the word “research” *shudders* myself included. Can I take this one moment to encourage everyone to push your own boundaries? Running away from research doesn’t make it any less important or scary. Dive in, maybe even get close to drowning. It’s perfectly ok, because you won’t really drown. Get really confused, probably, but that’s ok too. I find my main problem with it is vocabulary– lots of jargon. If you purposefully immerse yourself in the jargon, you’ll eventually get at least a little of it. It’s also ok if you don’t understand everything on the first go around. It’s ok if you never understand everything. The more you dive in, the better you’ll eventually float and maybe even learn to swim a little in the research. Ok, I’m stepping off my soap box now….
Next we had Sarah Kagan on Qualitative Research Design Options for Complex Interventions and Participation Outcomes.
Sarah presented on a whole new theoretical model of research design termed post-positivism. To understand that, we must first understand positivism. Positivism is the procedure you learned in high school, maybe even before: question -> hypothesis -> experiment -> analysis. Post-positivism shifts the question from, “What should I do when X happens?” to “Who should I be in X interaction?” Which made no sense to me at first. Positivism focuses more on the tools/treatments the clinician can provide to situation X; whereas, post-positivism focuses on the clinician being X tool for the client to use. Post-positivism empowers the patient to take charge of their own experiment and in the case of a single case design as previously mentioned, take charge of their own health.
Ok, go back and read that again and digest a minute. I’ll wait…. Leave research behind and think about how that mindset would change the way you approach a patient clinically….
Now let’s take it back to research, since that’s the topic of this presentation. Positivism lends itself to cross-sectional and longitudinal designs, while post-positivism leans more toward episodic and historical designs. These work particularly well for looking at participation. The data you collect here comes in 5 types: textual, narrative, static-graphic (photo), video-graphic and participant created (virtual, artistic, interactive). All this can come from the participants themselves and also documentation including records and interpretations of the above. The important points of the data in post-positivism is that the data need to be credible, transferable (sharable), and confirmable. Positivism uses these sampling methods: convience, snowball, cohort, purposive, and theorhetical. To look at participation in post-positivism, you’ll want to look at co-investigators, elder councils, referral networks, ownership agreements and action plans instead. Positivism is looking for a difference between experimental groups. Post-positivism is looking for a difference from within 1 group. Is this sound familiar to yesterday’s post yet?
Psychology and nursing use this post-positivism to fuel their research efforts frequently, because they have recognized that real life is nothing like an RCT and that many interventions are nothing like drugs. Which is why the powers that be think this may be a good option for the therapy world too.
If you’ve got burning questions, hit the contact link at the top of the page and shoot me an e-mail. In turn I’ll send you Sarah’s e-mail. She said she’d be more than happy to help connect people to classes on this type of research and to hook up people with consultants.