The alternative qualitative research questions for the proposed study would be:
- What is the nature of the relationship between HIV transmission and education levels among alcoholics in California?
- How does education affect the sexual behaviors of alcoholics in California?
- How do education better equip alcoholics in California to respond to HIV?
Comparison between Qualitative and Quantitative Questions
The quantitative question asked was “Is there a relationship between education level and HIV transmission among alcoholics in California?” This question fundamentally differs from the qualitative research questions stated above because the qualitative questions are open-ended, while the former is a closed-ended question that could be answered using a “yes” or “no” response. Furthermore, the qualitative research questions could help to expound on the results of the quantitative research questions. This is a fundamental difference between qualitative and quantitative research questions because qualitative questions are often open-ended, while quantitative research questions are closed-ended (Baum, 1995). The qualitative research questions are also exploratory in nature, in the sense that they could provide the researcher with an understanding of the reasons, opinions, and attitudes of the respondents towards HIV and education levels among alcoholics, while the quantitative research question could only quantify the problem. In this regard, the qualitative research questions could provide more insight into the findings obtained from the quantitative research question.
Why Qualitative data could be Appropriate in Answering the Qualitative Question
The research premise for the use of the qualitative research approach stems from an investigation of the relationship between HIV and education levels among alcoholics. A qualitative investigation could help address this research issue by highlighting the influence of education on the attitudes, behaviors, value systems and beliefs of alcoholics towards behaviors that increase the risk factors for HIV (Baum, 1995). For example, qualitative research could help to explain the attitudes of alcoholics towards the use of condoms as a preventive measure for HIV. The exploratory nature of qualitative findings would also help the researcher to define the problem and understand the scope of our understanding regarding the subject matter (Venkatesh, Brown, & Bala, 2013). Lastly, the qualitative data could be appropriate in answering the qualitative research question by helping the researcher to gain an in-depth understanding of the issues of interest in the study and explore nuances related to the same (Venkatesh et al., 2013).
Stakeholders to Include in the Planning and Implementation of Data Collection and Analysis Processes
Institutional Review Board (IRB): The use of human subjects in qualitative analyses has some ethical implications that most researchers could best address through ethical committee boards, such as the IRB (Tracy, 2012). Some of these ethical issues include confidentiality, privacy, informed consent, and deception (just to mention a few). The IRB could help the researcher to address some of these concerns.
University (or whomever the research is intended for): In the process of selecting the data collection and analysis processes, the researcher should consider whether the audience would understand the findings or not. In this regard, the researcher should evaluate whether the chosen research methods cater to the needs of the audience because if they do not, they need to be changed.
Research Participants: When developing the data collection method, it is important to cater to the interest of research participants because some data collection techniques would not work with certain types of research participants. For example, qualitative data collection techniques are most effective in analyzing the views of a small group of participants (Tracy, 2012). In this regard, the research participants are an important stakeholder group in this study.
Baum, F. (1995). Researching public health: Behind the qualitative-quantitative methodological debate. Social Science and Medicine, 40(4), 459–468. Web.
Tracy, S. (2012). Qualitative Research Methods: Collecting Evidence, Crafting Analysis, Communicating Impact. London, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
Venkatesh, V., Brown, S. A., & Bala, H. (2013). Bridging the qualitative-quantitative divide: Guidelines for conducting mixed methods research in information systems. MIS Quarterly, 37(1), 21-54.