Health Professionals Learning Qualitative Research in Their Workplace: A Focused Ethnography

BMC Medical Education (08/17/2020) Vol. 20, No. 269 Ghirotto, Luis; De Panfilis, Ludovica; Di Leo, Silvia

Investigators evaluated the attitudes of health professionals (HPs) learning and performing qualitative studies within a practical training program developed in their workplace. The focused ethnographic approach included 14 HPs during their one-year attendance training on qualitative research methodology (QRM). Instructors opted to teach QRM via Grounded Theory. Although prior educational background was viewed as a type of obstacle, training changed HPs' attitudes in terms of appreciation of the research approach and trainees' emotional investment with research participants. Conducting a qualitative study in a multidisciplinary team invoked in-group dynamics that affected the conclusion of the studies. Trainees often cited problems in managing time to commit to research-related activities, doubting the feasibility of this protocol for conducting research in the workplace. The authors concluded that "learning qualitative methodology may foster a renewed attitude towards one's professional education, while making interprofessional relationship issues emerge." Still, they stressed that enlarging the perspectives of professionals on their clinical practice through QRM learning may yield an evident improvement in quality.

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