Looking for the OPUS Qualitative Research Course?

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What is qualitative research?

Qualitative research explores the reasons, opinions and motivations for the way people behave and is a necessary core component of implementation trials. It is central to understanding why promising interventions do not always work in the real world, and how researchers can design, test and implement interventions that do.

Aims & objectives

The OPUS program of qualitative research applies robust and innovative qualitative approaches to uncover the experiences, attitudes and beliefs of orthopaedic patients and their clinicians.

Knowledge generated advances orthopaedic care by informing the design and implementation of interventions that meet the needs and preferences of patients and deliver the right care, to the right patient, at the right time.

Why do we integrate qualitative methods within our research?

Bunzli, S, O’Brien, P, Klem, N, Incoll, I, Singh, J, Davaris, M, Choong, P, Dowsey, M. Misconceived expectations. Patient reflections on the total knee replacement journey. Musculoskeletal care Accepted 10.04.20. https://doi.org/10.1002/msc.1475

Klem, N, Smith, A, O’Sullivan, P, Dowsey, M, Schütze, R, Kent, P, Choong, P, Bunzli, S. What influences patient satisfaction after total knee replacement? A qualitative investigation. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. 478(8) 1850-1866. doi: 10.1097/CORR.0000000000001284

de Oliveira B, Smith A, O’Sullivan P, Haebich, S, Fick, D, Khan, R, Bunzli, S. ‘My hip is damaged’. A qualitative investigation of people seeking care for persistent hip pain. British Journal of Sports Medicine 54 (14) http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2019-101281

Wallis, J, Taylor, N, Bunzli, S, Shields, N. 2019. The experience of living with knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review of qualitative studies. BMJ Open 9, e030060  doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030060

O’Brien, P, Bunzli, S, Ayton, D, Dowsey, M, Gunn, J, Manski Nankervis, J. 2019 What are the patient factors that impact on the decision to progress to total knee replacement? A qualitative study involving patients with knee osteoarthritis. BMJ Open 9, e031310 doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031310

Bunzli, S, O’Brien, P, Ayton, D, Dowsey, M, Gunn, J, Choong, P, Manski-Nankervis, J 2019. Misconceptions and the acceptance of evidence-based non-surgical interventions for knee osteoarthritis. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. 477(9) 1975-1983 doi: 10.1097/CORR.0000000000000784

 Lin, I, Bunzli, S, Mak, D, Green, C, Goucke, R, Coffin, J & O’Sullivan, P. 2018 The unmet needs of Aboriginal Australians with musculoskeletal pain: A mixed methods systematic review. Arthritis Care and Research. 70(9), 1335-1347 doi:10.1002/acr.23493

Bunzli, S, Nelson, E, Scott, A, French, S, Choong, P & Dowsey, M. 2017. Barriers and facilitators to Orthopaedic Surgeons’ uptake of decision aids for Total Knee Arthroplasty: A qualitative study. BMJ Open. 7(11) doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018614

Bunzli, S, Smith, A, Schutze, R, Lin, I & O’Sullivan, P. 2017. Making sense of low back pain and pain-related fear. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy. 47(9), 628-636 doi: 10.2519/jospt.2017.7434


a short course for clinical researchers

A qualitative skills gap exists in in the field of orthopaedics on a national and international scale, thus OPUS has developed a short course in qualitative research skills for clinical researchers to address this gap.

course outline

The course will be delivered over two days:

Day 1: Introduction to Qualitative Research | theory, problem and skill-based learning

  • Explanation of the role of qualitative research in an implementation setting, covering the basic theoretical concepts and methodological approaches.

Day 2: Qualitative Research in Practice | workshop your own qualitative study

  • Formulation of a research question, choosing a methodological approach, recruitment strategy, developing an interview schedule, interview skills, data analysis and presentation of findings. 

Day 1 – An Introduction to Qualitative Research  

At the end of this session attendees will be able to: 

  1. Understand the basic theoretical concepts underpinning qualitative research.  
  2. Identify in what contexts qualitative research is necessary or useful. 
  3. Identify a range of different qualitative approaches, where they might be appropriate and what types of data they generate. 
  4. Understand the importance of qualitative research in an implementation setting.  

Day 2: Qualitative Research in Practice 

With a focus on developing the skills to design a qualitative interview study including Part 2 will allow attendees to be able to: 

  1. Identify ethical considerations in qualitative research and how to manage ethical issues in practice. 
  2. Formulate research questions appropriate for qualitative studies. 
  3. Design an appropriate participant recruitment strategy for a qualitative interview study. 
  4. Develop the skills to conduct a qualitative interview, including to formulate qualitative interview questions/an interview schedule.  
  5. Develop basic data analysis skills including deductive and inductive coding, generating themes and using qualitative data analysis software. 
  6. Present qualitative data findings in a variety of meaningful ways including rigor, standard reporting target journals 

Though attendees are not required to have any prior knowledge of qualitative methods or research, it is encouraged that you only sign up if you have a background in clinical research, or are a student moving into this area.

This interactive course will be delivered over Zoom, using break out rooms and additional multimedia content. Poll Everywhere and workshop style lessons will ensure content is engaging and caters to each individual’s learning style.

Comprehensive package attendees will also have access to a customised LMS-style repository of extra tools, video recordings and chat functions, so you can get the most out of the course.

meet your teachers

Dr Bunzli is a clinician (physiotherapist) with expertise in qualitative research methods. She established and leads the program of qualitative research at OPUS, embedded across all five OPUS streams.

In her role as program lead, Dr Bunzli mentors and supervises PhD students; has also co-designed and coordinates the OPUS short course in qualitative research methods. Dr Bunzli has been awarded >$3.5 million in funding for her research. She has presented national and international keynotes and is Associate Editor (Qualitative Research) at Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. Dr Bunzli chairs the OPUS Education and Training Committee; is an Early Career Representative on the University of Melbourne, Department of Surgery research committee; and sits on the steering committee of the International Association for the Study of Pain, Special Interest Group in Social Aspects of Pain.

Penny O’Brien is a current PhD candidate and qualitative researcher at OPUS. In her role as Qualitative Trials Coordinator, Penny coordinates multiple concurrent qualitative projects. She has extensive experience conducting qualitative interviews and focus groups with a diverse range of people, including Aboriginal health researchers, people living with osteoarthritis, older people who have experienced falls, domestic violence case workers, people with dementia and their caregivers and various health professionals. By using culturally secure qualitative research methods, Penny’s PhD aims to explore the impact of osteoarthritis on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, a research area which has received little or no attention in Australia to date.

qualitative research chief investigator

qualitative trials coordinator

course packages

Qual course price points_webpage

Next course dates are TBA

Need more information?

Email opus@opus-tjr.org.au

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