Qualitative Methods in Global Infectious Diseases Research

McGill Summer Institute    https://www.mcgill.ca/summerinstitute-globalhealth/registration-and-pricing



Qualitative methods can assess the social and behavioural contexts, and the complex determinants, impacts and outcomes of illness and disease control efforts, including public health programs, policies, and technologies. There is growing interest to integrate qualitative methods into traditional operational and biomedical research to understand challenges to healthcare seeking behaviour and healthcare service delivery, and to better understand how and why some interventions and technologies are successfully (or less successfully) implemented and utilized. This course will build participants’ research literacy to use qualitative methods to inform, innovate, contextualize, evaluate, and strengthen the delivery and utilization of healthcare services and technologies for infectious diseases (e.g., tuberculosis, HIV, COVID-19) in lower-and middle-income settings.

The course utilizes case studies and practical exercises to engage learners in the following topics in qualitative research:

1. Study designs and methodologies
2. Theoretical frameworks
3. Focus groups, observation and interviews: designs, skills and implementation
4. Approaches and methods for analysis
5. Multiple methods: integrating and sequencing qualitative and quantitative methods
6. Sampling and participant recruitment
7. Data management and storage
8. Ethics and evaluation criteria
9. Dissemination

The course includes didactic expert lectures on qualitative study design, implementation, analysis, and dissemination, interactive group exercises to apply and practice the lessons learned, as well as short topical presentations and/or panel discussions.


To be introduced to the principles and methods of qualitative research.


  • Persons with a strong interest in qualitative and mixed methods, and little/no prior experience
  • Persons involved in infectious disease control programs, including program managers, innovators, and monitoring and evaluation officers
  • Junior faculty, doctoral and postdoctoral fellows engaged in global health research
  • Clinical researchers and residents working internationally
  • Research staff, including study coordinators, with an interest in international work
  • Representatives of funding and/or advocacy bodies, grant reviewers

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