Pre-conference: A hands-on introduction to qualitative research methods in public health

Wednesday 8 November, 9:00 – 17:00 Dublin time (network lunch included)

Organised by:

EUPHA Public health epidemiology section; EUPHAnxt


Rigorous qualitative and mixed methods designs can shed light on important public health issues, inform or augment epidemiologic investigations, identify appropriate intervention strategies, and provide data for evaluation and implementation science efforts. Importantly, well designed qualitative studies can bring community needs into focus and amplify the voices of marginalized populations.  

The philosophical and theoretical foundations for qualitative research will be discussed, followed by an overview of traditional and alternative data collection approaches, including, but not limited to, interviews, focus groups, arts informed techniques, photo-elicitation, freelisting and consensus-deriving group approaches. These techniques allow researchers to engage participants in ways that can shed light on the meaning of quantitative study results, inform survey design, or uncover hidden realities that may prove to be barriers to well-designed public health interventions. 

This pre-conference qualitative workshop aims to provide a foundation for investigators who would like to incorporate qualitative inquiry into their research efforts. The workshop will help investigators answer the following questions:

  • When are qualitative approaches useful?
  • How do you choose the best qualitative data collection approach?
  • What skills and tools are needed to do this work well?

The day will begin with an overview of data collection approaches and include a workgroup session on interview and focus group guide development. Part of the day will be spent on demonstration and practice of interviewing techniques. The session will conclude with a data analysis overview and activity. Additionally, there will be a discussion of best practices for the publication of findings. 

Pre-conference participants will be familiarized with qualitative and mixed methods approaches. The session is aimed at a broad public health audience including public health practitioners, researchers and clinicians eager to expand their research skill set. Theory and approaches will be illustrated through example studies. Participants will have ample time to practice their new skills, ask questions and share ideas about possible opportunities to augment their work with qualitative inquiry.

Learning objectives

At the end of this workshop attendees will be able to:

  1. Describe the philosophical foundations of qualitative research.
  2. Identify multiple approaches to qualitative data collection.
  3. Describe differing approaches to mixed methods research.
  4. Understand when and how to conduct qualitative interviews and qualitative focus group sessions.
  5. Plan and begin managing, coding, and analyzing qualitative data.
  6. Identify opportunities to conduct qualitative studies or enhance common quantitative data collection and study designs by using mixed methods approaches.
  7. Identify the steps needed to conduct rigorous, valuable, and publishable studies that involve qualitative designs.


Main speakers

Rosemary (Rosie) Frasso, PhD, is a Professor of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr Frasso earned a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy & Practice, as well as two master's degrees from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her current research focuses on the integration of qualitative and quantitative methods in projects designed to improve population health, healthcare quality and access to health services for vulnerable populations.

Amy Leader, PhD, MPH, is an Associate Professor of Population Science at Thomas Jefferson University and the Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. She leads a portfolio of externally funded research in the areas of cancer communication, community engagement, and vaccine hesitancy.  Dr. Leader received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her masters and doctoral degree in public health from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.


The detailed programme is available here.


The registration fee is € 150 which includes networking lunch and refreshments.