Integratedness of qualitative research Results into public health measures and policies in the Republic of Serbia
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Institute of Public Health of Serbia "Dr Milan Jovanovic Batut", Serbia
Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1851
Background and Objectives: Besides quantitative research, the Introduction of qualitative research into the inquiry of challenges in the field of public health was conditioned by the multidisciplinarity of public health itself. It was recognized that qualitative research delivers better contextualization of the challenge, along with providing depth and breadth to the statistical data, a new dimension – three-dimensionality. This study aims to realize the place and the role of qualitative research in the practice of forming public health measures and policies from the perspective of 10 interviews with the decision makers that defined the public health strategy in the Republic of Serbia. Methods: Semi-structured interviews on the topic of qualitative and quantitative research were conducted with the 10 people on positions responsible for forming the public health strategy and policies in the Republic of Serbia. The narrative analysis was used for the Interpretation of the findings. Results Despite the fact that the value of the qualitative research was recognized at academic level, their use in practice is limited. Of the 10 interviewees, all 10 give priority to quantitative research studies, since they are easier to navigate, provide the number of occurrences, are easier to use for perceiving the scope of the challenge and risk factors and allow the generalization of the Findings beyond the participant group. Conclusions: Despite being recognized as a part of the public health curriculum, qualitative research does not bear the strength of the statistical evidence used for defining public health measures and policies. The formed public health measures and policies often lack depth and they neither contextualize the challenge nor do they adjust towards the intended population. For this reason, many measures in public health don’t have the desired or even expected level of efficiency.