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Focusing on the ‘why’ and the ‘how’

20 Jan, 16 | by Sheree Bekker

 

 

I draw attention to a recent post  from The BMJ blog – Chris Baker: Child obesity in India? Tell me something I don’t know! as it struck me as relevant to the field of injury prevention. 

The BMJ blog post centres around the fact that only two qualitative studies have been published in the past 15 years on the issue of child obesity in India, with the majority of research being prevalence studies – and concludes:

…let us divert resources away from the “what” and “who” of child obesity towards the “why” and “how.” These questions require the application of qualitative research methods with families and health professionals to explore the lived experience of being overweight or obese, and the broader social and cultural beliefs related to this growing burden.

As we know, and as a quick search for qualitative studies in Injury Prevention shows, our field does indeed recognise the importance of qualitative work, with skilled researchers using qualitative methods to answer the types of ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions that we encounter with regards to our injury prevention interventions.

Over and beyond the qualitative/quantitative debate however, this blog post struck me as pertinent to readers of Injury Prevention as it raises the important point of relevancy. Relevancy of methods to the research question, and relevancy of research questions to the population.

Relevancy matters.

Do make sure to read the post for thought-provoking points that are raised as to the types of questions we should be asking, and thus the deeper issues that we can seek to uncover and address through our intervention research.

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