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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Qualitative Inquiry: Theoretically Focusing the Research Design

Judith Polipnick, DC, PhD, Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, Palmer College of Chiropractic, 2748 Scott St., Davenport, IA 52803, 563.822.8095, judith.polipnick@palmer.edu

A critique related to empirical research is that it oftentimes lacks a theoretical focus. While theories are put forth attempting to describe and explain the structural/functional phenomena we call the subluxation, there are few theories proposed for the human side of the equation, that is, patients and how they relate to their health. The purpose of this presentation is to describe a qualitative collective-case study that used a theoretically-based research design to explore the transformative process of six individuals into a natural health lifestyle. The primary aim of the study was to examine change processes; however, the design also facilitated the testing of existing theory and thereby contributed to theory development.

The study used the “structured-focused” comparative method of inquiry to theoretically focus the research design. It was structured in that similar questions were asked of each participant in order to provide consistent data collection. Transformative learning theory was used as the theoretical framework to focus the interview questions, analysis, and the discussion of the findings. The design incorporated a matrix to conceptually organize the various phases of the study including the within-case and cross-case analyses of data and the interpretation of the findings.

The presentation will describe this theoretically-based design to provide a tool for clinicians and researchers to explore qualitative inquiry, research design that incorporates existing theory, and change processes in health in a systematic manner.

Learning Objectives: Objectives