let's talk about

qualitative research

a short course for researchers

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.

integrating qualitative research at opus

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.

The knowledge generated advances orthopaedic care by informing the design and implementation of patient-specific interventions, ultimately allowing the right care to be delivered to the right patient at the right time

  • Klem N, Smith A, Shields N, Bunzli S. 2021. Demystifying Qualitative Research for Musculoskeletal Practitioners Part 1: What Is Qualitative Research and How Can It Help Practitioners Deliver Best-Practice Musculoskeletal Care? J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 51(11):531–532. doi:10.2519/jospt.2021.0110 
  • Bunzli, S, Taylor, N, O’Brien, P, Dowsey, M, Wallis, J, Choong, P, Shields, N. 2021. How do people communicate about knee osteoarthritis? A discourse analysis. Pain Medicine. 22(5):1127-1148 doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnab012
  • 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. doi.org/10.1002/msc.1475
  • Klem, N, Smith, A, O’Sullivan, P, Dowsey, M, Schütze, R, Kent, P, Choong, P, Bunzli, S. 2020. 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. 2019. ‘My hip is damaged’. A qualitative investigation of people seeking care for persistent hip pain. British Journal of Sports Medicine 54 (14) 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

why should you use it?

Dr Samantha Bunzli & Dr Darshini Ayton explain why you should integrate qualitative research into your work

for clinical researchers

course outline

The course will comprise of two sections completed over three half-days:

SECTION 1 (29th & 30th June 2022)

Introduction to Qualitative Research | Theory problem and skill-based learning

  • Explanation of the role of qualitative research
  • Formulation of a research question
  • Choosing a methodological approach
  • Recruitment strategy
  • Developing an interview schedule
  • Interview skills
  • Data analysis
  • Presentation of findings

SECTION 2 (10th August 2022)

Qualitative Research in Practice | Workshop your own qualitative study

  • Participants will have the opportunity to present their own qualitative research plan, project or analysis with the opportunity for peer review and expert feedback.

the specifics

Section 1 – An Introduction to Qualitative Research  

At the end of the 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.  

Section 2 – Qualitative Research in Practice 

With a focus on developing the skills to design a qualitative interview study, section 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.

To cater for all attendees, 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 and Concession 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.

Dates are dependent on our facilitator’s availability, but be sure to stay tuned to our mailing list as dates are released each year. Get in touch with us through the Expression of Interest form if you need specific requirements and we will aim to cater for all.

Already enrolled with us? Access additional material via the Portal!

Course packages






student concession

yOur facilitators

Samantha bunzli

Qualitative Research Chief Investigator

Dr Sam Bunzli is a clinician (physiotherapist) with content expertise in cognitive behavioural models of pain and clinical communication; and methodological expertise in qualitative research.

She has established and leads a program of qualitative research embedded across all five OPUS streams. In her role as program lead, Dr Bunzli mentors and supervises PhD students; directs process evaluations on implementation projects; and coordinates the OPUS short course in qualitative research methods.

Dr Bunzli has been awarded >$3.8 million in funding for her research. She has presented national and international keynotes and is Associate Editor (Qualitative Research) at the orthopaedic surgery journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

Penny O'Brien

Qualitative Trials Coordinator

Penny O’Brien is a 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 research 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.

what students are saying

"I thought it was a great course and I really appreciated the interactive elements and that you were all very responsive to specific questions that came up."
"Loved it! The only thing is which is completely out of your hands...if the course was delivered in person, that would have been great.""

get in touch

expressions of interest