Methodological Issues in HIV-Related Social Research in Nigeria

Olayiwola Erinosho, Richard Joseph, Uche Isiugo-Abanihe, Nkem Dike, Adeyinka A. Aderinto

Abstract

This paper is about methodological issues in a community-wide study in Nigeria on an infectious disease, namely HIV/AIDS. The study was designed to ascertain the risk factors that contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS and how that can be tackled in order to bring about behavioural change. The research team believed at the onset that a study on the interplay between HIV/AIDS and sensitive issues like sexual mores and sexuality requires much more than a straightjacket social science method, such as simply doing a cross-section study and/or using interview schedule. This paper reviews the essence of cross-disciplinary approach; team building; as well as the use of a non-participatory observational approach in data collection. It also shows why ample consideration was given to ethical issues which are often glossed over in social research in developing countries. The lessons from the study underscore the methodological imperatives in social research that focus on sensitive issues in largely nonliterate context like Nigeria. Although there are formidable challenges in community-based studies in largely non-literate societies, nevertheless they could easily be surmounted if there are ample time and resources to navigate the various sticking points. Afr J Reprod Health 2013 (Special Edition); 17[4]: 146-155).

 

Keywords: Qualitative methodology; Ethics in social research; Cross-disciplinary; Cross sectional and semi-longitudinal; Team building; ethnographical; uni-disciplinary  

 

Résumé

 

Ce document porte sur les questions méthodologiques  dans une étude  dans des communautés  au Nigeria sur une maladie infectieuse, à savoir le VIH/SIDA. L'étude a été conçue pour déterminer les facteurs de risque qui contribuent à la propagation du VIH/SIDA et comment cela peut être abordée afin de susciter des changements de comportement. L'équipe de recherche a été convaincue au commencement de  l’étude  qu’une étude sur l'interaction entre le VIH/sida et les questions sensibles comme les mœurs sexuelles et la sexualité exige beaucoup plus qu'une méthode de sciences sociales de camisole de force, comme faisant simplement une étude de section et / ou en utilisant grille d'entrevue. Ce document passe en revue l'essentiel de l'approche interdisciplinaire; l'esprit d'équipe, ainsi que l'utilisation d'une approche d'observation non participative dans la collecte de données. Il montre également pourquoi ample considération a été accordée aux questions éthiques qui sont souvent passés sous silence dans la recherche sociale dans les pays en développement. Les leçons tirées de l'étude soulignent les impératifs méthodologiques dans la recherche sociale qui se concentrent sur des questions sensibles dans le contexte largement analphabète comme le Nigeria. Bien qu'il existe de grands défis dans les études communautaires dans les sociétés largement analphabètes, néanmoins ils pourraient facilement être surmontés s’il y a suffisamment de temps et de ressources pour naviguer dans les différents points de friction. Afr J Reprod Health 2013 (Edition Spéciale); 17[4]: 146-155).

  

Mots clés: méthodologie qualitative, l'éthique dans la recherche sociale, interdisciplinaire, coupe transversale et semilongitudinal, renforcement de l'équipe, ethnographique, uni-disciplinaire

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References

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