Researchers at the Phyllis F. Cantor Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and U. Mass/Boston, interested in exploring the potential effectiveness of mindfulness meditation (MM) for patients undergoing bone marrow transplant, took an unusual first step. They conducted a series of guided interviews with nineteen patients undergoing stem cell/autologous bone marrow transplant (SC/ABMT).

Audiotapes of these interview sessions were then transcribed and used to create a a QRS NVivo software program to manage the data from the interview questions. Responses about what the participants liked and disliked and their suggestions for improving the effectiveness of the MM intervention were identified and grouped.

Subsequently, the MM intervention was refined, based on this information, and additional testing in a randomized, controlled trial is now planned.

Because the cost of implementing and testing a new intervention is high, it makes sense to do this sort of preliminary work, using qualitative evaluation methods to provide rich and detailed information that will save time and money in the long run.

We look forward to hearing more from these clever researchers.

Citation: Fonteyn M, Bauer-Wu S. Using qualitative evaluation in a feasibility study to improve and refine a complementary therapy intervention prior to subsequent research. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2005 Nov; 11 (4): pages 247-52. Epub 2005 Nov 2. [email protected]