Qualitative research and its uses in health care

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Abstract

Although relatively uncommon in health care research, qualitative research is now receiving recognition and is increasingly used in health care research with social and cultural dimensions. Unlike quantitative research, which is deductive and tends to analyze phenomena in terms of trends and frequencies, qualitative research seeks to determine the meaning of a phenomenon through description. It aims to develop concepts that aid in the understanding of natural phenomena with emphasis on the meaning, experiences and views of the participants. Differences among qualitative researchers exist on matters of ontology, epistemology, data collection methods and methods of evaluation. The aim of this article is not to act as a practical guide on how to conduct qualitative research, but is an attempt to give an introduction to qualitative research methods and their use in health-related research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalSultan Qaboos University Medical Journal
Volume8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2008

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Keywords

  • Ethnography
  • Focus groups
  • Health care
  • Interviews
  • Phenomenology
  • Qualitative research
  • Semi-structured

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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