|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 5-14
Qualitative research methods in psychiatry in India: Landscaping the terrain
Pranab Mahapatra1, Krushna Chandra Sahoo2, Pritam Jitendriya2, Mousumi Samal2, Sanghamitra Pati2
1 Department of Psychiatry, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
2 Regional Medical Research Centre, Indian Council of Medical Research, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
Background: Qualitative research methods (QRMs) bear a critical role in psychiatry as they explore the phenomenology of psychiatric illness and its sociocultural dimensions. However, there is limited evidence regarding its use in psychiatric research in India.
Aim: This study, under the aegis of mapping qualitative health research in India initiative, attempted to landscape the use of QRMs in psychiatry and elicited expert opinion on its potential, perceived quality, and scope for improvement.
Materials and Methods: We reviewed studies using qualitative methodology published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry (IJP) and the abstracts presented at the Annual Conference of the Indian Psychiatric Society (ANCIPS) between 2010 and 2019. Titles and abstracts were screened and shortlisted; full-text articles were checked to identify the relevant ones. In addition, ten experts comprising psychiatry journal reviewers, editors, and conference scientific committee members were interviewed to elicit their views and suggestions.
Results: Out of 356 papers published in IJP between 2010 and 2019, only 12 papers used QRMs: five qualitative and seven mixed methods. Out of 2297 abstracts published between 2010 and 2019 in ANCIPS, only 28 had used QRMs, consisting of 20 qualitative and eight mixed methods. The findings reveal that qualitative research is still an understudied domain in Indian psychiatry with a substantial need for rigor and quality.
Conclusions: To catalyze the use of qualitative research in Indian psychiatry, continuing medical education programs through workshops or webinar mode need to be imparted. These trainings should aim at building skills on qualitative study design, data collection, analysis, and writing.
Regional Medical Research Centre, Indian Council of Medical Research, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar - 751 023, Odisha
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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