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Qualitative Research Workshops bring unexpected outcomes

By Miriam Redley, Probationer Nurse, Atoifi Adventist Hospital

Until recently, research meant nothing more to me than a study based on the interests of an individual in certain things like plants, animals and so on. However, when participating in the Qualitative Research Workshops held in June at Atoifi Hospital, I realised that there is more to research than what I thought. Therefore, I am going to briefly share my experience on qualitative research, and its positive impact on me.

As part of the nursing curriculum I studied the basics of research. Because of that experience, I know that there are two basic approaches to research. These are “Qualitative” and “Quantitative”. Thus, with this basic knowledge, I also learnt that quantitative method is based on counting numbers, whereas qualitative research relates to exploring people’s experiences and their views on a particular topic. Thus, in my experience, I have is no criticism with either approach. However, qualitative methods have made many positive impacts on me.

When participating in the recent Qualitative Research Workshops, I learnt that this type of research has guidelines that must be followed in order to achieve a successful outcome. For instance, the guidelines include “Open mindedness, non-judgmental, observant, sensitive, adaptable, and clear in speech”. These guidelines taught me to be neutral, however be knowledgeable, when seeking other people’s opinions.
I learnt to be ‘naïve’ and learnt to listen, even if it already known to me. I need to listen in a genuine manner of showing interest, I must not be judgmental in every conversation. Qualitative research has taught me not to make criticisms or make decisions according to my opinion - I must be observant, sensitive and be adaptable to whatever environment.

With this understanding, my participation in the Qualitative Research Workshops has impacted me, not only when doing research, but also at work. For instance, as a nurse, sometimes we are not ‘naïve’ enough when we ask questions of the patient. Sometimes the patient don’t have the chance to say something. Therefore with this, I believe that learning about qualitative methods is good and influential - I recommend it.

Photo: Miriam Redley, author, is second from the back on the left-hand side.

Miriam, along with researchers and fellow probationer nurses. work together during the recent Qualitative Research Workshop. The team met in a Pacific Adventist University (PAU) classroom. PAU delivers a Bachelor of Nursing from the campus at Atoifi Hospital, Solomon Islands. Photo credit: David MacLaren

Census lays platform for scabies and yaws intervention study in Kwaibaita Valley

By Tommy Esau, Research Assistant

Last week three members of the Scabies and Yaws Study team went to Kwaibaita Valley, East Kwaio, Malaita Province, Solomon Islands, to conduct a census. Census data collected included number of people living in each residence, gender of residents and ages of residents. This census is a critical part of preparing for study to be undertaken this week in Kwaibaita.

The census team included community members and researchers: Max Firiabae from Abitona community; Joyce from Namfe’akwa community in Kwaibaita; Mary Laetem RN nurse from Namolaelae clinic and Tommy Esau, Research Assistant with the Atoifi Health Research Group.

The team conducted censuses in three main villages in Kwaibaita valley: Gwaari (n=180); Fataolo (n=183); and Namolae'lae and surrounds (n=289). This population data represents the actual people residing in the village during the year.

The team also talked with community members about the causes and effects of scabies and yaws, and the how the communities can help protect themselves and their families from getting those diseases. These diseases are mostly diseases of children who live in poor, rural settings in the topics. According to a report published by Dr Michael Marks from London School Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and his colleagues, Solomon Islands are one of the counties in the world who are highly affected.

Yesterday, Dr Michael Marks and Dr Christian Kostiz, LSHTM, along with members of the Atoifi Health Research Group left for Kwaibaita to begin the scabies and yaws intervention study in villages in the Kwaibaita Valley.

For more information about the prevalence of yaws in Solomon Islands, read for free this recent article by Dr Marks and colleagues: http://www.ajtmh.org/content/92/1/129.long

For more information about this research, please contact Dr Jason Diau, jaseydiau[at]gmail.com

Photo: (i) (LR) Namolae'lae clinic nurse, Mary Laetem, Max Timothy and Joyce; (ii) Mary Laetem explaining some pictures about scabies and yaws to family at Fataolo in Kwaibaita. (Photo credit: Tommy Esau).

Yaws study underway on Malaita, Solomon Islands

A team of researchers is conducting a yaws intervention study in villages around Uru Harbour and in Kwaibaita Valley, Malaita, Solomon Islands.

Dr Michael Marks and Dr Christian Kostiz, from London School Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) are working with the Atoifi Health Research Group (AHRG) to conduct the study. Members of the AHRG include researchers from Atoifi Adventist Hospital, Pacific Adventist University, James Cook University and CQUniversity.

The disease yaws is mostly a disease of children who live in poor, rural settings in the topics. With the highest rates of yaws per capita in the world, children (and adults) in Solomon Islands are greatly affected. Researchers from LSTHTM are working with the Atoifi research team to provide the best evidence to control, and ultimately eliminate, yaws at a community level.

For more information about the prevalence of yaws in Solomon Islands, read for free this recent article by Dr Marks and colleagues: http://www.ajtmh.org/content/92/1/129.long

For more information about this research, please contact Dr Jason Diau, jaseydiau[at]gmail.com

Photo: Atoifi Research Nurse, Hillary Tolaka, demonstrates the use of a rapid testing kit for yaws and syphilis with volunteer, Chief Esau Kekeubata (photo credit: Tommy Esau)

New Research partner to work at Atoifi this month

Dr Michael Marks, of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, joins the Atoifi Research team this month to launch health research projects to address yaws and scabies.

Due to arrive in East Kwaio this coming Monday, Dr Michael will assist in research training with partners from Atoifi Hospital, James Cook University and East Kwaio community leaders to undertake research projects about yaws and scabies.

If you would like to learn more about Dr Michael, including papers he has written, you can read his work profile here: http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/aboutus/people/marks.michael

For more information about yaws, visit: http://www.who.int/yaws/en/

For more information about scabies, visit:http://www.who.int/lymphatic_filariasis/epidemiology/scabies/en/

Dr Michael, we look forward to welcoming you to Atoifi very soon!

Photo credit: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

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