Telling a story or reporting the facts in qualitative health research? | 19 April 2023 | 11:00 – 12:00pm

Telling a story or reporting the facts in qualitative health research? | 19 April 2023 | 11:00 – 12:00pm

Telling a story or reporting the facts? The potential for interpretation vs the dominance of description in applied qualitative health research analyses?

Abstract: Interpretative analysis of qualitative data has been likened to a form of creative storytelling. However, analysis of qualitative health research data is often subject to concerns derived from quantitative empiricism such as replicability, bias and impartiality. In applied health research, it seems that qualitative portrayals have become dominated by descriptive reporting at the expense of interpretative accounts. Dr Sheard conducted a documentary analysis based on 32 peer reviewer reports (received 2014–2019) in connection with four interpretative qualitative health research manuscripts. Peer reviewers were mostly positive towards the manuscripts and the findings of the studies seemed to resonate with them. Yet, interpretive analysis was viewed negatively leading to a lack of trust in the findings. In her presentation, Dr Sheard will discuss the three broad issues seemed to trouble reviewers and will offer a reflexive account of her positionality and understandings of interpretive creativity!

Bio: Dr Laura Sheard is an Associate Professor at the York Trial Unit specialized in qualitative methodology, health sociology and applied health services/public health research. Her skills are mainly around qualitative methods, qualitative analysis, theory, process evaluations and trial management. She is most passionate about improving prison healthcare through research and is a PI on two grants: an NIHR HS&DR grant about improving the quality of primary care in prison (2019-2022) and an ESRC grant about the impact of Covid-19 on delivery of prison healthcare (2021-2022).

Before Joining York, Dr Sheard was a Principle Research Fellow at Bradford Institute for Health Research where she worked predominantly on patient safety and patient experience studies in the Yorkshire Quality & Safety Research team and public health studies in the Born in Bradford team. She can be found on Twitter @Laurainbradford.


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