Evaluation of a Qualitative Study

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Evaluation of the Research Problem

The research problem is: Addressing effectiveness in interventions used in substance abuse programs. Another part of the research problem is: Addressing the criticism regarding qualitative designs. The goal is to show all qualitative research can be helpful especially regarding drug addiction. It can be useful to discuss the participants experiences to gain insight that they might not have gained from quantitative research.

Evaluating the Significance of the Problem

This article does address a counseling issue because it explores what the clients actual experience with recovery from drug addiction was like. Rotarescu & Sleath (2016) did a great job of showing why learning about the clients’ experiences would be important and establishing a possible correlation between drugs and criminal activity (Rotarescu & Sleath, 2016). They provided an explanation at the beginning of the article describing how some are disappointed about the rates of relapse in drug treatment. This creates a convincing argument that client experiences with recovery should be explored.

Evaluation of the Literature Review

Perusing the article, the learner notice the literature review is spread throughout the report, but she noticed most of it was in the beginning of the article. They excelled at attempting to explain different drug interventions and explain why a qualitative approach is necessary. They paint a picture describing why this research is necessary. Rotarescu (2016) states that most interventions that are researched for drug addiction are quantitative studies (Rotarescu, 2016).

They present a detailed overview of the different themes that are present in the study. Rotarescu (2016) presented different themes such as: The recovery process, addiction background, the role of experiences influencing the addiction, etc. (Rotarescu, 2016). From reading the article, the information that was provided appeared to be unbiased. It allowed for a semi-structured approach to give clients some flexibility which leads to a conclusion that the article is unbiased.

Evaluation of Research Purpose Statement and Questions

Research Design

            This study utilized a phenomenological design, more specifically an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Sheperis, Young, & Daniels (2017) describes phenomenological designs as a design that focuses on capturing clients’ perceptions of their experiences (Sheperis, Young, & Daniels, 2017). In the case of the chosen study, the researchers wanted to gain the client’s perspective of what their experience regarding recovery from a drug addiction was like. The sample size was small utilizing 5 individuals, but that is common for qualitative studies. This design will help the researchers learn about the client’s experiences in recovery.

Research Purpose Statement

The purpose statement for this study was: “IPA was used to gain the participants perspectives on what was successful regarding their recovery from drug addiction (p. 1). The authors presented this in a concise manner and it was easy to find. The purpose statement appears to be very thorough and well put together.

Research Questions

This article did not state a research question. The closest thing to a research question was the article declaring the overall purpose of the study. The researchers did do an adequate job explaining the purpose and reasoning behind their study.

Evaluation of Data Collection Plan

There were 5 individuals utilized for this study. They were all picked from a rehabilitation in an inner-city area. Therefore, it appears to be a purposeful sample. The learner took this position because the entire sample came from the same place. The selection of participants would be stronger if they incorporate participants of different ages and more women in the study. Rotarescu (2016) declares that the participants ages ranged from 33 to 44, and there was only 1 female participant in the study (Rotsrescu, 2016).  The lack of female participants make it less likely that the results would be generalizable.

Selection of Participants

The participants volunteered to participate and they attended the clinic that was involved in the study. After carefully perusing the article, the conclusion was reached that indicated purposeful sample. Sheperis (2017) says that purposeful sampling is helpful with finding cases that fits the criteria of the study (Sheperis, 2017). The selection would be better if there was a more equal representation of women in the study.

Gaining Permission

The participants volunteered to participate in the study. Rotarescu (2016) says that they gained consent to conduct the study from authority from the rehab center and the Research Ethics community from Coventry University (Rotarescu, 2016). They took care to gain written consent because this study reveals personal information about client’s recovering from drug addiction. Also, the researchers maintained confidentiality by assigning random numbers to the participants.

Determining the Data to Collect

They utilize semi-structure interviews to collect their data. This method gives the client flexibility in answering questions, yet the researchers still maintain some set questions and structure. The purpose of the study was to discuss clients’ experiences with the recovery process and focus on the aspects that helped with their recovery (Rotarescu, 2016). They also wanted to explore the different interventions that was used.

Recording Data

The article did not note any specific protocols that they used. The learner would recommend the clients signing forms throughout the interview process continuing to give informed consent.

Evaluation of Data Analysis and Interpretation Plan

Preparing and Organizing Data for Analysis

They prepared by using semi-structured interviews so that they could gain as much information from the set questions and let the clients explore their personal experiences. They organized the information into different themes.

Exploring and Coding the Data

The researchers coded the data into different themes. They took a lot of the information from the client’s interviews and coded them into different themes. The researchers broke down and explored each theme, which was very helpful.

Using Codes to Build Description and Themes

The researchers broke down themes into different sections such as: Context of addiction, recovery process, treatment, triggers, the therapeutic alliance, etc. (Rotarescu, 2016). Their descriptions of the themes were excellent and very detailed. They provide a clear and concise explanation for each of the themes and organized the information very well.

Representing and Reporting Findings

They presented their findings in a table with the themes and the responses from each participant. They also discussed some of the findings in the discussion section of the article. The findings were presented well with a reasonable explanation. Rotarescu (2016) explained that there are different factors that impact addiction (Rotarescu, 2016).

Interpreting Findings

The interpretation was very meaningful because it provided insight from clients going through the recovery process. The information gained showed the clients being able to increase awareness about the recovery process, and that could not be gained through a quantitative approach. Some limitations of this study are: More study needs to be done about groups because that is an important part of the addiction process. Another issue with the study relied on self-reports which could create bias or skewed results. Furthermore, a risk of bias was increased because the same researcher was involved during the entire research process.

Validating the Accuracy of the Findings

They did not describe how their findings was validated, and that was a negative with the study. Rotarescu (2016) states that triangulation was not used to make sure the information provided by the client was accurate (Rotarescu, 2016). It would have been better to use triangulation to lessen the risk of bias.

Evaluation of Ethical and Culturally Relevant Strategies

They did a great job at addressing ethical issues. They made sure to maintain ethical guidelines and ensure they got written consent from the participants. They also got approval to conduct the study. They did a good job of considering possible ethical issues.


Overall, they did a good job with this research study. The main concern would be the potential level of bias in the client responses. This information could help me be sensitive to and respectful of client’s experiences with addiction.

Rotarescu, O., & Sleath, E. (2016). The lived experience of five clients in recovery from drug addiction. Drug Addiction. Retrieved from: Capella

Sheperis, C.J., Young, J.S., & Daniels, M. H. (2017). Counseling research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson



Cite this page: Danielle Bosley, "Evaluation of a Qualitative Study," in PsychologyDictionary.org, July 28, 2017, https://psychologydictionary.org/evaluation-qualitative-study/ (accessed October 5, 2022).