Abstract: Application of Rapid Analysis Methods in Qualitative Social Work and Health Research (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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609P Application of Rapid Analysis Methods in Qualitative Social Work and Health Research

Sunday, January 15, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Alicia Mendez, MSW, Doctoral Student, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ
Peter Treitler, MSW
Sarah Kautz, PHD, Research Coordinator, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Emily Bosk, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Cadence Bowden, MSW, MPH, Senior Research Associate, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Stephen Crystal, PhD, Board of Governors Professor, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Background: Traditional qualitative methods can be time consuming, requiring multiple rounds of coding and analysis, and may not be feasible for time-sensitive research where findings are rapidly needed to guide intervention or policy implementation. Rapid Analysis (RA) is an alternate approach to qualitative inquiry that is well-suited to fast turnaround projects. In such projects, there is a need to feed information back to service providers or other stakeholders as new programs and policies are implemented, in order to guide improvement throughout the implementation process. Although there are scenarios where more traditional, inductive qualitative methods are preferable, such as when exploring a previously unstudied phenomenon, RA can more quickly produce findings like those of traditional qualitative methods without sacrificing quality or rigor. As social work scientists work to respond more creatively to timely social problems while remaining rooted in community voice new methods, such as RA, can prove helpful. Examples of when RA methods might be preferred over more intensive qualitative methods include for brief projects or those with short-term or interim deliverables; when near real-time feedback for partners or policymakers is needed to guide implementation; to inform development of quantitative measures; or when the results of the research are particularly time-sensitive.

Methods: Drawing on established and tested methodology, the presenter will describe RA steps in sequence, including creation of domains corresponding to interview questions; drafting a summary template wherein summaries and illustrative quotes are documented; testing and revising the summary template until consistency is established; transferring information from summary templates to a respondent by domain matrix; and analyzing domains for recurring concepts and themes across respondents. Methods used to enhance rigor throughout this process, such as double-coding transcripts, triangulation, and team discussions to resolve discrepancies in coding styles and interpretation will be included.

Results: Two applications of RA in social work research and evaluation projects will be described. The first example is drawn from a study of addiction treatment practice changes occurring during COVID-19, when unprecedented service delivery changes took place in response to temporary regulatory flexibilities allowing for greater use of telehealth, less restrictive prescribing practices, increased take-home methadone doses, and other changes. The second study, a one-year funded pilot study of an in-home recovery program for parents with substance use disorder, examines the unexpected transition to telehealth following COVID-19.

Conclusion & Implications: Each of these examples showcase how RA can be used in health and social work research to produce timely yet rigorous findings to guide policy and practice. Findings of this work are important for social work researchers and educators, who can incorporate these newer qualitative methods into their own work where appropriate.