Get expert advice to help you get published!

You are here

5 Things to remember when reporting qualitative health research

Marisha Fonseca | Feb 5, 2015 | 13,389 views
Tips for writing a manuscript on qualitative health

There is a common misconception that qualitative studies in the field of health are not as useful as empirical studies. Qualitative studies are often believed to lack scientific rigor. In fact, these studies have an important role to play in the field since they provide insights into the emotions, experiences, and perceptions of key players: clinicians, care providers, caregivers, and patients. To optimize the benefits of qualitative health research and to counter prejudice from other members of the scientific community, qualitative researchers should ensure their reporting is as thorough, transparent, and at par with the best quantitative studies. One good way of doing this is to follow guidelines like the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) checklist. Doing so will not only provide a balanced account of the research but also make the paper more credible and appealing to journal editors and peer reviewers.

Listed below are five points that researchers often miss while reporting a qualitative health study:

1. In addition to merely reporting your methodological orientation and theory (e.g., ethnography, phenomenology, or grounded theory), state its advantages over other methodologies in addressing your research question/study aim.

2. Report the sampling method (e.g., purposive, snowball) as well as how participants were approached. Mention the duration of interviews, discussions, etc., and describe the research setting.

3. Clearly state who conducted interviews, facilitated focus group discussions, coded the data, etc. Give that person’s credentials and training in the concerned methodology, as well as pertinent demographic information (e.g., the sex of the researcher can be important when studying a topic such as post-mastectomy experiences).

4. Report whether data saturation was achieved or at what point data collection stopped.

5. Specify whether any form of triangulation was employed (e.g., having multiple researchers, research methods, or theoretical schemes for data interpretation), as it boosts the internal validity of your findings.

As qualitative data are strongly influenced by context, inattention to methodological detail can seriously limit the usefulness of the findings. To guard against this, high-profile journals like The BMJ and Social Science and Medicine provide specific checklists and detailed guidelines for authors of qualitative papers. Regardless of the journal you are submitting to, follow these guidelines as well as the COREQ checklist to conduct and present your research in the best way possible. 

Republish

Like this article? Republish it!
Knowledge should be open to all. We encourage our viewers to republish articles, online or in print. Our Creative Commons license allows you to do so for free. We only ask you to follow a few simple guidelines:
  • Attribution: Remember to attribute our authors. They spend a lot of time and effort in creating this content for you.
  • Editage Insights: Include an attribution to Editage Insights as the original source.
  • Consider a teaser: Yes, that’s what we call it…a teaser. You could include a few lines of this post and say “Read the whole article on Editage Insights”. Don’t forget to add the link to the article.
  • Re-using images: Re-publishing some of the images from our articles may need prior permission from or credit to the original image source.
  • Quick and easy embed code: The simplest way to share this article on your webpage would be to embed the code below.

 

Please copy the above code and embed it onto your website to republish.
Join a community of 179000+ researchers
Editage Insights offers a wealth of free resources on academic research and publishing. Sign up and get complete access to a vibrant global community of researchers. Gain expertise & share your own with authors and others involved in scholarly publishing.
By clicking 'Join Now', you agree to our Terms & Privacy Policy.
Having trouble registering/logging in? Contact us
Q & A

Have your own question?

Related Categories