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eHealth Evaluation: Qualitative

eHealth Evaluation
Introduction to Qualitative Methods

Instructor: Ann McKibbon - Professor Emeritus & Past Director, MSc in eHealth, McMaster University

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Description

This series focuses on the kinds of approaches we need to use when we are interested in the “how” or “why” of processes and people using technology. These studies are often in depth observations, focus groups, or open ended questionnaires. Qualitative methods are vital when we seek to understand the experiences of people using or planning on using information technologies. Examples of qualitative studies will be highlighted showing issues such as handling “rage against the machine” if people’s expectations have been too high and they are disappointed and frustrated with a new system. We will focus on both studies published in the literature and how to plan your own qualitative studies.

Objectives

  • To understand the importance of good methods and tools when seeking to evaluate a new or existing informatics application in health care from a qualitative perspective.  This type of research is done or used when one wants to undestand the "how" or "why" of system use or system expectations.
  • To understand that qualitative health evaluation methods centre on three approaches: 
    • careful and considered observation of people in real life situations doing their usual work
    • focus groups
    • questionnaires, either alone or used with interviews - all open ended questions
  • be introduced to successful qualitative studies in the literature and how these can influence our development and installations of new or improved systems across user groups
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