Analyzing and Interpreting Research in Health Education
The research carried out in health education is holistic and all embracing. It may be qualitative, quantitative or mixed. While qualitative research is used when little or nothing is known about the subject, quantitative research is required when there are quantifiable variables to be measured. By implication, health education research is based on phenomenological, ethnographical and/or grounded theoretical approaches that are analyzable by comparison, or sometimes a cross sectional study, cohort study, case-control study, and randomized controlled trial, which are in turn analyzable by statistical values and tests of significance. While qualitative research is interpreted by inductive reasoning, quantitative research is by deductive interpretation. Health education Research may therefore be one of concept formation and development, concept modification and integration in a research based on grounded theory, culture characterization in ethnographical studies and data ranking and classification in phenomenological studies. It counts occurrences, establishes statistical links among variables, and generalizes findings to the population from which the sample was drawn. Acceptance or rejection of data is a common feature in the process of reconciling conflicting evidence. Consequently, the goal of research in health education is generation of theory, cultural taxonomy/themes, and application of findings in other settings/geographical locations.
Keywords: Analyzing, Interpreting, Research, Health Education