What would you like? Phenomenology, Discourse Analysis or Grounded Theory

Starks and Trinidad conduct a study in which they compare and analyze the best of the three qualitative methods approach: phenomenology, discourse analysis and grounded theory, for a medical research in the case of prostate cancer screening. First they gave a brief review of each method background according to:

  • history
  • philosophy
  • methodology (question, sampling, data collection, interviews)
  • analytic methods (coding, sorting, identifying, and views, etc)
  • audience
  • product

Phenomenology: focuses on understanding how the meaning of something is derived
and further investigates the taken-for-granted assumptions.

Discourse analysis: how language is used to accomplish task in personal, social and political scenes. It defines our purpose of understanding communication.

Grounded theory: focuses on explaining the theory behind environmental relationships, the connections. With the use of the 6 c’s- (causes, contexts, contingencies, consequences, covariance, and conditions)

The study involved 25 primary care physicians (PCPs) and their informed decision making (IDM) when it comes to their patients healthcare and preferences. Each method was framed to focus on particular concerns within their question to research.

IDM was considered useful when decisions for the prostate screening created:

  1. insufficient medical evidence to support recommending a particular course of action,
  2. potential outcomes that are highly variable and/or include substantial harms, and
  3. outcomes that patients will value differently based on their personal situation and

Each research method provided Starks and Trinidad, along with the physicians different information but equally valuable to the patients necessities and care; however, it was still a struggling choice.

I appreciate how Starks and Trinidad compiled information in Figure 1 to help any physicians and following researchers to understand the three methods side by side. Although their chart is better than a Venn diagram, it helps me differentiate where and how this information can be used. When they first started explaining, I understood and was following along easily. I think I struggled with understanding what the physicians were actually needing. Why only choose one method? Isn’t it possible to create a way where all three is beneficial. Possibly inventing a new method or am I asking for too much.

Each method had its own version of the experiment from a interviews and with the usage of the IDM. As a read what table 1 involves, it seems the information is all connected. In a way, the first leads to the second and the second to the third. I could be wrong but I wanted to understand exactly how would the medical field use this information. Of course I checked YouTube for videos and came across Leslie Curry. I am familiar with the Robert Wood Johnson group of Rutgers but I thought its possible for her to help lighten the medical  load.