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Studying health inequalitiesAn applied approach$
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Jonathan Wistow, Tim Blackman, David Byrne, and Gerald Wistow

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447305286

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447305286.001.0001

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Qualitative comparative analysis case study

Qualitative comparative analysis case study

Chapter:
(p.183) Eight Qualitative comparative analysis case study
Source:
Studying health inequalities
Author(s):

Jonathan Wistow

Tim Blackman

David Byrne

Gerald Wistow

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447305286.003.0008

This chapter draws on case study research using qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to develop understandings about what combinations of practice, policy and context work in addressing policy problems like health inequalities. Using set-theoretic and case-based methods such as QCA fits with assumptions about complex causal interdependencies. The method does not specify a single causal model. Instead causal pathways can be identified and investigated further. The chapter includes discussions about results of QCAs for cancers, cardiovascular disease and teenage conceptions in Spearhead areas and the combinations of conditions associated with narrowing or not narrowing health inequalities outcomes. The chapter concludes by focusing on implications for policy and practice. QCA is an exploratory method that demonstrates the same outcome can be reached in different ways, through interactions between policy, practice and context. These different pathways, or configurations of conditions, were used as a basis for developing set-theoretic knowledge and as a ‘tin-opener’ for researchers to work with local policy-makers and practitioners to gain further qualitative insight about the results.

Keywords:   spearhead areas, complex causation, causal pathways, local variations, case based methods, set theoretic knowledge

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