Using Qualitative Methods to Assess the Measurement Property of a New HIV Disability Questionnaire

Kelly K. O'Brien, Tarik Bereket, Marilyn Swinton, Patricia Solomon


The purpose of this article is to describe our experience using a qualitative team approach and predetermined theoretical framework to assess sensibility of a newly developed HIV disability questionnaire. Two interviewers conducted structured qualitative interviews with 22 adults living with HIV, asking participants how well the questionnaire characterized the disability they experienced living with HIV. Data collection and analysis occurred over six stages with four analysts who met throughout. Strengths of our approach included the ability to assess the sensibility of the questionnaire from the perspective of adults living with HIV, collect and analyze data across multiple sites, establish a systematic team analytical process, and enhance rigour through multiple coding, team reflexivity, and interviewer and analyst triangulation. Challenges included increased resources required to coordinate and implement this approach, differential recruitment rates, initial divergent analytical styles, and the potential to miss emerging codes given the structured nature of the analysis. This article offers a methodological process for researchers to use a qualitative team approach with directed content analysis to assess the sensibility of a new health status questionnaire.

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