Application of explanatory sequential design in conciliating qualitative and quantitative findings in different social stressors and social problem solving orientation of substance abuse population in Hong Kong: MMR

Ho Yin Lai (Corresponding Author), Elaine Wai-hung Yan, Eric Chun-wui Ho, Silvia Hiu-ue Fan, Alice Tsz-kiu Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Substance abuse has been a problem with every society and across every generation. The increasing number of substance abusers in Hong Kong causes a huge impact to our healthcare system. With the consideration in the complexity of psychosocial nature of this population, the utility of both qualitative and quantitative research methods have been becoming increasingly accepted in health sciences. This is a pioneer project in Hong Kong that employed mixed methods research for substance abuse populations which incorporates evidence of pre-treatment individual characteristics and other specific-tailored treatment factors in promoting changes over time. This study aimed at developing a comprehensive understanding of how individual factors, different social stressors and social problem solving orientation in shaping their behavior. This study covered two phases. The first one was to collect quantitative data in subjects’ ability in problem recognition, treatment readiness, social values and their orientation in social problem solving. A regression model of relapse prediction was constructed, in which, social problem solving was the most prominent factor, followed by treatment readiness, problem recognition and emotional problem. In the second phase of the study, individual semi-structure interview, and qualitative focus group activities of free-listing and pile-sorting were employed to collect qualitative data on the impact of various social stressors like stress from peers, from family, and from work or study. In the final step, we interpreted findings from these two subsets of quantitative and qualitative data. Results indicated stress from peers was the most prominent single stressor of substance abusers, which yielded similar impact as the combination of cross-product of stress from family and from work or study. Moreover, most subjects adopted negative orientation in their social problem solving, in which, stress from work or study noted with the highest response rate in negative orientation in their social problem solving
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1453
Number of pages1458
JournalInternational Journal of Current Innovation Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Mixed methods study

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