How Qualitative Methods Can be Used to Inform Model Development
- 434 Downloads
Decision-analytic models play a key role in informing healthcare resource allocation decisions. However, there are ongoing concerns with the credibility of models. Modelling methods guidance can encourage good practice within model development, but its value is dependent on its ability to address the areas that modellers find most challenging. Further, it is important that modelling methods and related guidance are continually updated in light of any new approaches that could potentially enhance model credibility. The objective of this article was to highlight the ways in which qualitative methods have been used and recommended to inform decision-analytic model development and enhance modelling practices. With reference to the literature, the article discusses two key ways in which qualitative methods can be, and have been, applied. The first approach involves using qualitative methods to understand and inform general and future processes of model development, and the second, using qualitative techniques to directly inform the development of individual models. The literature suggests that qualitative methods can improve the validity and credibility of modelling processes by providing a means to understand existing modelling approaches that identifies where problems are occurring and further guidance is needed. It can also be applied within model development to facilitate the input of experts to structural development. We recommend that current and future model development would benefit from the greater integration of qualitative methods, specifically by studying ‘real’ modelling processes, and by developing recommendations around how qualitative methods can be adopted within everyday modelling practice.
Data Availability Statement
Data sharing is not applicable as no datasets were generated or analyzed during the current study.
Samantha Husbands was primarily responsible for reviewing the literature and writing the manuscript, with support from, Susan Jowett, Pelham Barton and Joanna Coast. All authors read, edited and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The preparation of this review was in part funded by a college studentship obtained by Samantha Husbands through the University of Birmingham.
Conflict of interest
Samantha Husbands, Susan Jowett, Pelham Barton and Joanna Coast declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
- 8.Denzin NK, Lincoln YS. Introduction: the discipline and practice of qualitative research. In: Denzin NK, Lincoln YS, editors. Handbook of qualitative research. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks (CA): SAGE Publications; 2000. p. 1–28.Google Scholar
- 9.Miller WL, Crabtree BF. Clinical research: a mulitmethod typology and qualitative roundmap. In: Miller WL, Crabtree BF, editors. Doing qualitative research. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks (CA): SAGE Publications; 1999. p. 3–26.Google Scholar
- 11.Silverman D. Doing qualitative research: a practical handbook. London: SAGE Publications; 2000.Google Scholar
- 13.Flick U, von Kardorff E, Steinke I. What is qualitative research? An introduction to the field. In: Flick U, von Kardorff E, Steinke I, editors. A companion to qualitative research. London: SAGE Publications; 2004. p. 3–11.Google Scholar
- 14.Green J, Thorogood N. Qualitative methods for health research. 2nd ed. London: SAGE Publications; 2009.Google Scholar
- 15.Bryman A. Social research methods. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2008.Google Scholar
- 22.Husbands S. A qualitative analysis of the model-building process. University of Birmingham; 2016. Available from: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/6829/1/Husbands16PhD.pdf. Accessed 14 Nov 2016.
- 23.Husbands S, Jowett S, Barton P, Coast J. Using non-participant observation and think-aloud to understand and improve modelling processes. In: Coast J, editor. Qualitative methods for health economics. London: Rowman and Littlefield International; 2017.Google Scholar
- 27.Finch H, Lewis J. Focus groups. In: Richie J, Lewis J, editors. Qualitative research practice: a guide for social science students and researchers. London: SAGE Publications; 2003. p. 170–98.Google Scholar
- 28.Legard R, Keegan J, Ward K. Qualitative research practice: a guide for social science students and researchers. In: Richie J, Lewis J, editors. Qualitative research practice: a guide for social science students and researchers. London: SAGE Publications; 2003. p. 138–69.Google Scholar
- 29.Patton MQ. Qualitative research and evaluation methods. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks (CA): SAGE Publications; 2002.Google Scholar
- 37.Merkens H. Selection procedures, sampling, case construction. In: Flick U, von Kardorff E, Steinke I, editors. A companion to qualitative research. London: SAGE Publications; 2004. p. 165–71.Google Scholar