Generalising applied qualitative research on harm reduction: the example of a public injecting typology
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The small sample sizes and context-bound findings of qualitative research are commonly viewed as significant factors that limit its use (or "transferability") in settings other than those in which the research was originally conducted. This perceived limitation is of particular importance in a field such as harm reduction where small sample sizes may be the only realistic option for studying the behavior of hard to reach groups. In this article we use Miles and Huberman's (1994) structured method of appraising qualitative research for its transferability to other settings. We consider the extent to which a typology (based on ethnographic field research into public injecting sites) can be used effectively by practitioners in settings other than those in which the original research was conducted. Through appraising the strengths and weaknesses of this research, we demonstrate that contextualized qualitative findings can enable the transferability of qualitative research findings and be of significant applied value for harm reduction services.
Contemporary Drug Problems
Criminology not elsewhere classified