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Qualitative methods are a valuable tool in implementation research because they help
to answer complex questions such as how and why efforts to implement best practices
may succeed or fail, and how patients and providers experience and make decisions
in care. This article orients the novice implementation scientist to fundamentals
of qualitative methods and their application in implementation research, describing:
1) implementation-related questions that can be addressed by qualitative methods;
2) qualitative methods commonly used in implementation research; 3) basic sampling
and data collection procedures; and 4) recommended practices for data analysis and
ensuring rigor. To illustrate qualitative methods decision-making, a case example
is provided of a study examining implementation of a primary care-based collaborative
care management model for women Veterans with anxiety, depression, and PTSD.