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Quantitative and Qualitative Data

To implement obesity program evaluations, communities often use a combination of qualitative and quantitative data sources and/or data collection methods.

  • Qualitative methods
    Refers to the collection and/or analysis of descriptive data from sources such as interviews, focus groups, and site visits.
  • Quantitative methods
    Refers to the collection and/or analysis of numerical information from sources such as surveys or reports.

Often, evaluators of rural obesity programs use a mixed methods approach, combining qualitative and quantitative methods within one evaluation (e.g., content analysis of focus group data and a statistical analysis of survey data). A mixed methods evaluation approach may result in a better understanding of the program and increased credibility of the evaluation results.

For more information on data collection methods, see Collect and Analyze Quantitative and Qualitative Data in the Rural Community Health Toolkit.