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Methodological reflections on using pilot data from fracture patients to develop a qualitative study

Otmar, Renee, Kotowicz, Mark A., Nicholson, Geoffrey C. and Pasco, Julie A. 2011, Methodological reflections on using pilot data from fracture patients to develop a qualitative study, BMC Research Notes, vol. 4, no. 508, pp. 1-7.

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Title Methodological reflections on using pilot data from fracture patients to develop a qualitative study
Author(s) Otmar, Renee
Kotowicz, Mark A.
Nicholson, Geoffrey C.
Pasco, Julie A.
Journal name BMC Research Notes
Volume number 4
Issue number 508
Start page 1
End page 7
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2011
ISSN 1756-0500
Summary Background: Qualitative studies are particularly valued for their exploratory nature but, like other research methods, they do require careful planning to ensure rigorous study design. Our objective was to undertake a pilot study to inform the development of a larger qualitative study.

Results:
We conducted a series of brief interviews with out-patients in a hospital setting. The interviews were designed to elicit superficial information about whether (and how) post-fracture osteoporosis investigation and/or treatment were being initiated among patients receiving treatment or follow-up for a current or recent fracture. We used thematic analysis to identify key themes in the data that related to the broader research questions. We analysed data obtained from 11 out of a total of 12 interviews conducted. Participants were male and female, aged 19-83 years of age (median age 57 years). Participants attended 2-8 medical appointments to seek treatment and follow up for a current or recent fracture. The following four overarching themes emerged from thematic analysis of the data: fracture event, referral pathway, osteoporosis investigation and/or treatment, and communication by health practitioners and staff.

Conclusions:
This pilot study was necessarily tentative and exploratory in nature, but provided a helpful snapshot of some typical experiences in the public health system following fracture. Several themes emerged for consideration in the design of the main study. Despite its critics, theoretical sampling and saturation continue to provide sustainable methods for ensuring that relevant themes and categories are covered in sufficient depth and breadth, appropriate to the needs of the study.
Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
Field of Research 111706 Epidemiology
Socio Economic Objective 920116 Skeletal System and Disorders (incl. Arthritis)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30042440

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Medicine
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.