201632 Exploring the methods: The necessity of mixed methodology

Sunday, November 8, 2009: 4:55 PM

Cynthia Mollen, MD, MSCE , PolicyLab, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Effective policy research is strengthened by combining qualitative and quantitative methods. Increasingly, qualitative methods are used in public health research to develop questionnaires, guide intervention development, and generate hypotheses for further study. Understanding how to effectively couple quantitative and qualitative methods increases the transferability and impact of research. This session, co-led by two methodologists that actively collaborate on numerous PolicyLab mixed methods projects, first explores the benefits of mixed methods in achieving evidence-based policy research and then applies this paradigm to participants' own work. In providing an overview of mixed methods, core theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches for qualitative (e.g. focus groups and semi-structured interviews) and quantitative (e.g. administrative and survey data) research will be reviewed. The benefits of each methodology will be compared and tools for mixing methods will be analyzed. Then to pull the course together and to practice core skills, participants will break into small groups have an opportunity apply the course material to policy-relevant scenarios in their ongoing public health work.

Learning Objectives:
Explain the benefits of using mixed methodologies when working on a policy relevant research project. Discuss how to select which methods are most appropriate to meet the objectives of the research study. Demonstrate how to apply basic qualitative and quantitative tools to paticipant's particular work.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Cynthia J. Mollen, MD, MSCE is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania and attending physician in emergency medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She completed both her pediatrics residency and pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at CHOP, and was hired as faculty upon completing her training in 2001. She also completed the Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology during her fellowship. Since joining the faculty at Penn and CHOP, Cynthia has developed and refined a research and clinical interest in adolescent health, with a particular focus on utilizing the Emergency Department and non-primary care settings as sites for interventions related to major public health issues affecting adolescents, such as unintended teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. She has also pursued training in qualitative research methods, and has utilized those methods in a variety of research projects. Recent projects have included interviewing adolescents to learn about their attitudes about developing an intervention aimed to improve the use of emergency contraception; exploring minority adolescents’ perception about bias when seeking family planning care; and assessing the decision-making processes of parents with terminally ill children. She is also working on developing a DVD about sexually transmitted infection prevention for adolescents that will be pilot tested in the emergency department setting, with the hope of expanding the use of the DVD to settings where adolescents have medical exams, such as intake for the foster care system and the juvenile justice system. Based on her clinical and research interests and expertise, she recently began working with a small group of faculty to establish a cross-disciplinary research and policy center focused on children’s public health. Most recently she taught analyzing qualitative interviews at the University of Pennsylvania's CPHI Winter Institute.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.