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Qualitative Research

Research that emphasizes words and observations as evidence of participant’s current and likely future opinions and actions in their natural life situations. Generally, qualitative research provides in-depth information from a relatively small number of participants, when compared to quantitative research, and skilled interviewers often play a key role. The findings from qualitative research, therefore, rely heavily on subjective judgments. They are presented in a concrete and understandable way. Focus groups, discussed in our glossary, and key informer interviews are frequent forms of qualitative research. In some instances, if sufficient resources are available, the combination of qualitative and quantitative research is most beneficial. Qualitative research can be especially helpful in seeking to understand minority health improvement needs, and plan for them.

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