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NUMS Qualitative Research Workshop

The Behavioral Sciences Section, Multidisciplinary Department, National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) on 26-27th February 2018, organised a two-day workshop on Qualitative Research. The aim of the workshop was to introduce the participants to the significance of looking at the integrated bio-psycho-social determinants of health and equip them with necessary qualitative research techniques for use in their respective disciplines.

A course-pack was developed for the workshop, which covered four major modules comprising of scope and approaches of qualitative inquiry, research designs, data collection methods and data analysis techniques. A total of 25 participants including students, faculty members and researchers from NUMS, its affiliated and constituent colleges attended the workshop.

The workshop formally started with the opening remarks of Director Research/ Head of Biogenetics Program, Prof. Dr. Aisha Mohyuddin, who highlighted the importance of qualitative research in a variety of healthcare settings. The resource person, Dr. Rao Nadeem Alam, Assistant Professor, Anthropology Department at Quaid-i-Azam University started the session by talking about philosophy behind social sciences research.

With the help of constant comparisons to the quantitative methodology, the audience was able to understand the uniqueness and significance of qualitative methods. The participants were asked to formulate research questions and objectives on a socially relevant area of interest. The session on data collection method discussed in-depth interviews, participant observation and focus group discussion where the resource person emphasized that researcher is the main tool in extracting data.

The behavioral sciences team demonstrated a hypothetical Focus Group Discussion (FGD) with a group of volunteers from the audience on ‘unhealthy lifestyles and overburdened healthcare system’. The transcription of FGD was shared with the participants who analysed the data using techniques on coding and themes learnt in the module on data analysis.

The workshop ended with the closing remarks by Dean of Research and Academic Development, Prof. Dr. Mujataba Quadri who appreciated the multidisciplinary group of audience using components of qualitative research techniques in their respective projects, whereas possibility of future workshops on qualitative analysis software was also discussed.