Experiences from a pilot study on how to conduct a qualitative multi-country research project regarding use of antibiotics in Southeast Europe

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

BACKGROUND: In 2014, a qualitative multi-country research project was launched to study the reasons behind the high use of antibiotics in regions of Southeast Europe by using previously untrained national interviewers (who were engaged in other antibiotic microbial resistance-related investigations) to conduct qualitative interviews with local patients, physicians and pharmacists. Little knowledge exists about how to implement qualitative multi-country research collaborations involving previously untrained local data collectors. The aim of this paper was therefore to contribute to the knowledge regarding how to conduct these types of research projects by evaluating a pilot study of the project.

METHODS: Local data collectors conducted the study according to a developed protocol and evaluated the study with the responsible researcher-team from University of Copenhagen. The pilot study focused on 'local ownership', 'research quality' and 'feasibility' with regard to successful implementation and evaluation. The evaluation was achieved by interpreting 'Skype' and 'face to face' meetings and email correspondence by applying 'critical common sense'.

RESULTS: Local data collectors achieved a sense of joint ownership. Overall, the protocol worked well. Several minor challenges pertaining to research quality and feasibility were identified, in particular obtaining narratives when conducting interviews and recruiting patients for the study. Furthermore, local data collectors found it difficult to allocate sufficient time to the project. Solutions were discussed and added to the protocol.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the challenges, it was possible to achieve an acceptable scientific level of research when conducting qualitative multi-country research collaboration under the given circumstances. Specific recommendations to achieve this are provided by the authors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ID: 161992474