This qualitative research will seek to examine how women with mental health issues integrate and adapt to home and community settings upon being discharged from mental health facilities. This report consists of three sections. Section 1 review of the possible research approaches, section 2 provide an overview of the proposed research design and section 3 justification of the approaches that chosen.
Three possible approaches that can be employed in order to capture the experiences of women transitioning from inpatient to home/community settings are: Focus group, semi-structured interviews and ethnographic approach.
Firstly, focus groups are considered to be techniques used by a researcher to obtain data primarily through group interaction on a particular research topic (Morgan, 1996). Focus group tend to assist researchers understand how and why individuals have a certain belief or perception towards to a topic of interest. This research approach tends to be widely used among researchers (Webb and Kevern 2001). In terms of gathering information on women’s experiences after being discharge from mental facilities, focus groups would make it easier for the researcher to gain a lot of information from the sample within a short time period base on the fact that the women would be able to speak freely on their experience, engage each other and exchange information which would provide valuable data for the researcher. Due to the sample group of vulnerable women the use of focus groups would be useful as it helps with obtaining detailed information on their experiences. Another advantage of focus groups is that is that it would give the researcher the ability to observe interaction on topics related to their experience in their home/community settings. Also, group discussions provide direct evidence about similarities and differences in the participants’ opinions and experiences” (Morgan, 1997). Hence, stimulating women to explain their recovery needs and how well those have been met up on being discharge from a mental health facility. This is important as people are rarely encouraged to reflect on their recovery needs and to articulate them to anyone (Patient and Health Council, 2013).
While this research method proves to be advantageous it has its shortcomings, focus groups are largely limited to verbal behaviour and self-reported data, and since one of the goals of this research is to collect data on women social actions, rather than just the discussion of these activities, the increased naturalism of participant observation is necessary. Secondly, even if focus groups do bring group interaction into the picture, there are still many interactions that cannot be re-created in focus groups. If the interaction of interest does not consist of a “discussion,” then more naturalistic observation is probably preferable (Morgan, 1997). A possible issue with focus groups is that questions may be misinterpreted and hence not answered correctly as well as there might be a problem with getting women to actually attend the group sessions. Focus groups also posed an ethical concern as information that will be provided by the participants would be shared within the group which infringe on participants’ privacy which limits what the researcher could possible pursue. According to Morgan (1998), in some instances focus groups should be avoided if it is determined those participants will not be receptive to cooperating with each other since this would limit the way in which they will openly discuss their feelings.