Seeking the Story: Can Abortion Narratives Be Retrieved from a Mixed-Methods Study in India?

Kerry MacQuarrie, University of Washington
Jeffrey Edmeades, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

Researchers implemented a mixed-methods research project in Madhya Pradesh, India in 2002-2003 to obtain improved data on abortion, other reproductive events, and the gender context in which they occur. The motivation for mixed-methods was to harness the positive and complementary attributes of both qualitative and quantitative methods while avoiding the limitations of using either of these in isolation. The research project went beyond the traditional qualitative/exploratory pilot—quantitative survey—qualitative follow-up sequence to fully integrate qualitative and quantitative techniques into one mixed-method study. However, the effectiveness of this approach was assessed primarily by quantitative performance criteria and the resulting data used almost exclusively for statistical analyses. This study assesses a) whether it is possible to retrieve the individual, personal narratives that underlie the quantitative dataset; b) the quality and utility of these data as qualitative data; and c) compares the results of analyzing them as qualitative versus as quantitative data.

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Presented in Session 138: Mixed Methods Research