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Qualitative Research Methods in Public Health

Table of Contents

Introduction.

1.1 Background.

1.2 Research problem..

1.3 Aim of the research.

1.4 Research objectives.

1.5 The rationale of the research.

1.6 Scope of the research.

Research question.

Target population.

Sampling method.

Key ethical issues.

Proposed methods.

6.1 Data collection method.

6.2 Data analysis technique.

Implications for research findings.

References.

1. Introduction to Role of Resilience in Addressing Health Response

The situation of COVID-19 is highly vulnerable that has influenced the lives of all individuals. The role of community health workers is highly involving in different countries due to less resilient health systems. As a professional, community health workers provide relevant informational and emotional support to the population during the situation of an epidemic such as COVID-19 (WHO, 2018). This research proposal is based on the COVID-19 hotspot area wherein the members of the community can be explored for a better understanding of their response and perception towards the situation. Significant issues faced by the community members can be analyzed through this research which can help in providing better support to the individuals.

1.1 Background pf Role of Resilience in Addressing Health Response

A continuous threat can be identified for human health based on the unpredictable power of nature. The world is facing the worst time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Different infectious diseases can be identified in the 21st century which raises a need for collaboration to fight the epidemics. With increased globalization and human population, the need for urbanization increases which possibly spread the viruses at a faster pace. Some of the known epidemic diseases are influenza, tuberculosis, HIV infection, cholera, yellow fever, malaria and meningitis (WHO, 2018). Community engagement is based on common values, geographical locations and common identity. Health information and relevant knowledge about these epidemics can help in reducing its impact and overcome the risk (Ellis & Abdi, 2017).

During the epidemic of COVID-19, the world is facing issues based on health care facilities and the economic downturn. With the spread of coronavirus at an alarming speed, the economic activities in the countries are falling with a tight restriction. Millions of people are getting infected due to the virus which will leave long-term damage. A decline in the economic growth and tight restrictions for movements has created a situation of recession. It can result in a financial crisis in many countries. Through contact with other persons, COVID-19 virus spreads which can impact the lives of other people as well (Vinkers et al. 2020).

1.2 Research Problem

SARS-COV-2 has caused a global public health emergency with serious impacts on the lives and mental health of individuals. It raises a need for resilience to manage the current situation wisely and cope with the stress that occurred due to the pandemic (Ballard et al. 2020). Through different resilience techniques, people can stay in balance and overcome their emotional stress. Due to a hotspot area, people face several issues based on emotional, physical and mental pressure. Threatening and unpredictable situation of coronavirus has led to promote anxiety and distress. It is a difficult situation to manage the psychological effects and deal with the situation through quarantine. Increased community transmission of coronavirus has changed the concentration of people towards their family. A feeling of loneliness is increased with negative psychological impacts. Social isolation has changed the behaviour of individuals towards others. This situation of emotional distress has influenced a large part of the population. In the hotspot area, people feel isolated and control their daily activities to avoid the spread of coronavirus. Shared resilience is essential to overcome stress and recover to normal operations in the coronavirus pandemic. Virus outbreak in the hotspot area requires the support of community resilience (The World Bank, 2020; WHO, 2018). The key issues during the pandemic will be addressed in the research with the role of resilience to promote a better approach that can address the health response of community members.

1.3 Aim of the Research

This research aims at the need for resilience and significant strategies that can help in coping up with the stressful situation occur in the hotspot areas. Based on the perception and views of individuals, the need for health response can be evaluated through resilience strategies (Ballard et al. 2020).

1.4 Research Objectives

Key objectives of the research are based on the community resilience strategies and its need to overcome the distressful situation. These objectives can be explained as below:

  • To understand the situation of Covid-19 in Australia.
  • To investigate the issues faced by people in COVID-19 hotspot areas.
  • To apprehend the term resilience and its key strategies in the community to deal with the situation of COVID-19 pandemic.
  • To identify the role of resilience in the community to address the issues of health during epidemics.

1.5 The Rationale of The Research

This research can help in identifying the need for community health workers to ensure uniform treatment facilities in the community and manage the situation of the pandemic. It is based on the distinguished measures taken by community health workers to manage to test, focusing on isolation facilities and delivering the needs of the people in the community. Better health facilities for patients are key responsibility for community health workers (Ballard et al. 2020; Berkes & Ross, 2016). This research focuses on the exploratory views regarding resilience and its need to manage the situation of COVID-19. With the understanding of resilience strategies, the community health workers can address the health response of community members during the epidemic situation. The key factors analyzed through this research will benefit other researchers, community members, community health workers and government to take necessary steps and promote resilience strategies to support the community. Identification of the issues faced by community members can help in managing relevant support strategies to overcome the issues and promote a positive attitude among community members (Ballard et al. 2020; Vinkers et al. 2020).

1.6 Scope of the Research

The scope of the research is limited to the COVID-19 hotspot area wherein the community members are facing several issues based on emotional and mental stability. A highly stressful situation can be analyzed through this research which will help in adapting suitable strategies to mitigate the psychological issues faced by people. This study will concentrate on the people available in the specific COVID-19 hotspot area to explore the perception and views of community members. The increased need for resilience to support the community is promoted by the research with an exploratory view regarding epidemic issues. Regardless of the physical health issues, people face many other issues based on emotional stability and mental health problems which can negatively impact their lives. Through effective research about the role of resilience to support community can enhance the performance of community health workers and help people to reduce the impact of coronavirus (Ballard et al. 2020; Berkes & Ross, 2016).

2. Research Question

The primary research question for the study is

"To what extent resilience can support the community during epidemics?"

The secondary research questions are as follows:

  1. What is the situation of COVID-19 in Australia?
  2. What kind of issues are faced by people in COVID-19 hotspot areas?
  3. What is the meaning of resilience and different resilience strategies to deal with the situation of COVID-19 pandemic?
  4. What is the role of resilience in the community to address the issues of health during epidemics?

3. Target Population

The target population is referred to as the total group of individuals from which a sample can be identified. It can help in identifying the required inferences and reaching out to a conclusion. The recognized research findings are based on the sample that can help in generalizing the statements for the whole target population (Goldstein et al. 2019). This research is based on the community members of the hotspot area wherein people are facing numerous issues due to community transmission of COVID-19 virus. In the areas of hotspots, a high rate of community transmission can be seen which impacts the community members based on their perception and attitude (Ballard et al. 2020; Vinkers et al. 2020). To identify the issues based on community members available in the hotspot area, an evidence-based study can be conducted.

This research will be based on the community members of “Bayside City” where many people are facing coronavirus and there is a high chance of community transmission in that area. Around 120 households are residing in this area who will be the target population for the research. An understanding of resilience in the community members can be identified that can help in identifying the health response (Ballard et al. 2020; Vinkers et al. 2020).

4. Sampling Method

Sampling is recognized as a process of statistical analysis wherein a definite number of observations are identified from the larger target population. The sample of people shows a representative of the whole population that can help in generalize things to promote the research findings of the study (Gentles, Charles, Ploeg & McKibbon, 2015). Several sampling techniques are available for research. Systematic, stratified, cluster, convenience and sample random sampling techniques are mostly used by researchers to evaluate the findings based on defined objectives. Simple random sampling technique is based on the random numbers wherein each member of the target population has an equal chance of getting selected while systematic sampling technique is based on the systematic procedure of selecting the sample from the entire population. It is slightly similar to random sampling but it uses a list of the population with specific numbers then the individuals have opted at regular intervals. Although stratified sampling technique includes the distribution of population in different parts which can be different based on job role, income bracket, age and gender. Based on random or systematic sampling techniques, the required sample is drawn from the subgroups. Whereas the cluster sampling technique is based on the division of the population in subgroups wherein all the groups have similar attributes. Convenience sampling is a non-probability based sampling technique that helps the researcher to include the individuals that are most accessible for the research (Palinkas et al. 2015).

This research will be based on convenience sampling technique to promote accessible information from the community members. It is most suitable for qualitative research as it can help in providing a relevant response from the accessible sample (Gentles, Charles, Ploeg & McKibbon, 2015). Through this technique, the researcher can easily gather the required information from the ones who want to participate in the research and explore significant issues available in the hotspot areas.

5. Key Ethical Issues

 Research needs to be based on right and ethical alternatives to showcase the moral grounds of the study. Unethical issues are considered as morally wrong which are not acceptable in the society thus the researcher must manage all the issues effectively and promote relevant information in the study. Thus it raises a need for ethical consideration including all aspects of the research (Roberts, 2015; Salmons, 2015). Different ethical issues will occur in the research such as:

  • Confidentiality and privacy: With the participation of individuals in the research, a need for confidentiality and privacy arises to manage the information wisely. The information provided by the participants must not be available to others accessed by other persons. The given information also must not be published in any reports or documents and the names of the participants must not be used (Roberts, 2015; Salmons, 2015).
  • Ethics and responsible decision making: The researcher ensures that the actions in the research must be morally acceptable and include effective decision making.
  • Informed consent: The individuals who will participate in the research must be completely informed about the evaluation and research purpose. The participants are needed to be completely aware of the research and where it will be used. The key purpose of the informed consent is necessary so that the participants can make appropriate decision to participate in the research (Roberts, 2015; Salmons, 2015).
  • Voluntary participation: The participants must be voluntary participation in the research that shows free from coercion. They can withdraw from the research at any time without any involvement for negative actions. The researcher must not pressurize the participant for participation or taking inappropriate information.
  • Assessment of relevant components: The researcher needs to manage the relevance of the research including the purpose of the study. All the necessary questions must be asked from all the participants rather than a few participants. The questions must be predetermined for all the participants and include consistency to draw an effective conclusion (Roberts, 2015; Salmons, 2015).
  • No harm to participants: Any kind of physical or psychological harm must not be provided by the researcher in the form of self-esteem, pain, anxiety, stress or invasion of privacy.
  • Consideration of other writer’s work: The research must include citations and references to designate the work of others. It is essential to consider the intellectual property right as it is unethical to use their work as one’s own (Roberts, 2015; Salmons, 2015).

The researcher needs to focus on the above mentioned ethical issues to meet the needs of an effective study (Roberts, 2015; Salmons, 2015). With the use of a survey for data collection, participants can provide their information and their views based on the identified questions. Without any direct contact, the participants can easily provide their views and answers to the given questions as asked through the survey. The informed consent form will be given to all the participants for voluntary participation and making explanations for all the research (Greenwood, 2016).

6. Proposed Methods

 This research will be based on the qualitative research method. It is an in-depth study of the components wherein the inferences are descriptive in nature. The research findings will be obtained by the data easily. Different qualitative research methods include surveys, interviews, focus groups and observations. To accomplish the research purpose, the researcher will use a survey technique to gather relevant information from the community members of COVID-19 hotspot area. Qualitative methods are based on numerical values and statistical research which are not identified as suitable for this research due to the views and perception of community members for resilience during epidemics. Based on the primary qualitative research technique, the data collection method will be proposed accordingly (Silverman, 2016).

6.1 Data Collection Method

For this research, the researcher will use a survey method to gather relevant information from the community members. A survey is an efficient qualitative research method that helps to gather the information from a predefined group of participants and manage inferences based on the research topic. It can help in providing the primary data based on the research aims and objectives. Through its primary nature, it will completely be based on the research topic and provide most suitable findings that can benefit the researcher and other stakeholders to explore necessary issues in attaining community resilience during the epidemic (Hennink, Hutter & Bailey, 2020). This research will also include some secondary information gathered by books, journals and online articles. It can enhance the credibility of the research and promote appropriate inferences (Silverman, 2016).

To gather relevant responses from the participants, the researcher will create a set of questionnaire wherein 10 questions will be available. These questions would be open-ended to get maximum responses from the participants. These surveys will be sent on the email ids of the community members so that they can answer them as per their choice. Through this way, the researcher can manage the research and also avoid the risk of COVID-19 virus.

6.2 Data Analysis Technique

Data analysis is known as a process of evaluating the data from the gathered information. Based on the collected data, suitable inferences drawn by the researcher to manage decision making for the study. It systematically applies the information and investigates key factors of resilience that can identify the issues faced by individuals (Hennink, Hutter & Bailey, 2020; Silverman, 2016). The qualitative research method will be used by the researcher to work as per the questions and their derived responses. Based on the given explanation of the participants, the researcher will determine the conclusion and provide relevant evidence for the research. The questions framed by the researcher will be based on appropriate themes that can help in identifying a suitable answer for the research question. Descriptive analysis of the data promotes in-depth analysis based on the defined themes of research (Hennink, Hutter & Bailey, 2020; Silverman, 2016). These themes will align with the research objectives to provide reliable information for the research question. With different graphs and charts, the information will be presented by the researcher that can help in extracting the useful information and take a relevant decision.

7. Implications for Research Findings

Through the data analysis technique, the researcher will identify the research finding regarding community resilience and its key components. A need for community resilience will be identified based on the responses of the participants. Key factors of resilience are commitment, competence, confidence, communication and control. To establish a positive connection, it is essential to evaluate the factors of resilience. A community can become resilient with the sustainable abilities to adapt and recover from adversity. Physical, social and behavioural well-being showcases the community resilience (Hynes, Trump, Love & Linkov, 2020).

With the help of community resilience, individuals can manage the situation of the epidemic and enhance their health. It will provide strength to the community. Effective communication and positive attitude of the community can bring a change to overcome the psychological issues of individuals. The sense of loneliness will be reduced with communication and engagement through virtual platforms (The World Bank, 2020; WHO, 2018). Community resilience can be attained with the efforts of individuals for helping people to grow their food, manage the local investment for local businesses and promote mutual aid networks. It will advocate a green stimulus to meet the needs of individuals. Interconnectedness can minimize the negative psychological aspects and bring suitable positive approaches which can easily be used by individuals to support the community. Local transition initiative can be managed by individuals to connect and avoid the feeling of loneliness via the internet (Ballard et al. 2020; Vinkers et al. 2020; Post Carbon Institute, n.d.).

8. References for Role of Resilience in Addressing Health Response

Ballard, M., Bancroft, E., Nesbit, J., Johnson, A., Holeman, I., Foth, J., Rogers, D., Yang, J., Nardella, J., Olsen, H., Raghavan, M., Panjabi, R., Alban, R., Malaba, S., Christiansen, M., Rapp, S., Schechter, J., Aylward, P., Rogers, A.…Palazuelos, D. (2020). Prioritising the role of community health workers in the COVID-19 response. BMJ Global Health, 5(6), e002550. https://dx.doi.org/10.1136%2Fbmjgh-2020-002550

Berkes, F., & Ross, H. (2016). Panarchy and community resilience: Sustainability science and policy implications. Environmental Science & Policy61, 185-193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2016.04.004

Ellis, B. H., & Abdi, S. (2017). Building community resilience to violent extremism through genuine partnerships. American Psychologist72(3), 289. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/amp0000065

Gentles, S. J., Charles, C., Ploeg, J., & McKibbon, K. A. (2015). Sampling in qualitative research: Insights from an overview of the methods literature. The Qualitative Report20(11), 1772-1789. https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/sites.nova.edu/dist/a/4/files/2016/01/Gentles_Sampling-2016-01-16.ppt.pdf

Goldstein, B. A., Phelan, M., Pagidipati, N. J., Holman, R. R., Pencina, M. J., & Stuart, E. A. (2019). An outcome model approach to transporting randomized controlled trial results to a target population. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association26(5), 429-437. https://doi.org/10.1093/jamia/ocy188

Greenwood, M. (2016). Approving or improving research ethics in management journals. Journal of Business Ethics137(3), 507-520. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10551-015-2564-x

Hennink, M., Hutter, I., & Bailey, A. (2020). Qualitative Research Methods. London: SAGE Publications Limited.

Hynes, W., Trump, B., Love, P., & Linkov, I. (2020). Bouncing forward: a resilience approach to dealing with COVID-19 and future systemic shocks. Environment Systems and Decisions, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10669-020-09776-x

Palinkas, L. A., Horwitz, S. M., Green, C. A., Wisdom, J. P., Duan, N., & Hoagwood, K. (2015). Purposeful sampling for qualitative data collection and analysis in mixed method implementation research. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research42(5), 533-544. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10488-013-0528-y

Post Carbon Institute (n.d.). Resilience. Retrieved from: https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-04-08/building-community-resilience-before-during-and-after-covid-19/

Roberts, L. D. (2015). Ethical issues in conducting qualitative research in online communities. Qualitative Research in Psychology12(3), 314-325. https://doi.org/10.1080/14780887.2015.1008909

Salmons, J. E. (2015). Doing Qualitative Research Online. New York: SAGE.

Silverman, D. (Ed.). (2016). Qualitative research. New York: SAGE.

The World Bank (2020). The global economic outlook during the COVID-19 pandemic: a changed world. Retrieved from: https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2020/06/08/the-global-economic-outlook-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-a-changed-world

Vinkers, C. H., van Amelsvoort, T., Bisson, J. I., Branchi, I., Cryan, J. F., Domschke, K., Howes, O. D., Manchia, M., Pinto, L., de Quervain, D., Schmidt, M. V., & van der Wee, N. J. A. (2020). Stress resilience during the coronavirus pandemic. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 35, 12-16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euroneuro.2020.05.003

WHO. (2018). Managing epidemics. Retrieved from: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/managing-epidemics-interactive.pdf

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