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      Series: Practical guidance to qualitative research. Part 2: Context, research questions and designs

      research-article
      a , b , c
      The European Journal of General Practice
      Taylor & Francis
      General practice/family medicine, general qualitative designs and methods

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          Abstract

          In the course of our supervisory work over the years, we have noticed that qualitative research tends to evoke a lot of questions and worries, so-called frequently asked questions (FAQs). This series of four articles intends to provide novice researchers with practical guidance for conducting high-quality qualitative research in primary care. By ‘novice’ we mean Master’s students and junior researchers, as well as experienced quantitative researchers who are engaging in qualitative research for the first time. This series addresses their questions and provides researchers, readers, reviewers and editors with references to criteria and tools for judging the quality of qualitative research papers. This second article addresses FAQs about context, research questions and designs. Qualitative research takes into account the natural contexts in which individuals or groups function to provide an in-depth understanding of real-world problems. The research questions are generally broad and open to unexpected findings. The choice of a qualitative design primarily depends on the nature of the research problem, the research question(s) and the scientific knowledge one seeks. Ethnography, phenomenology and grounded theory are considered to represent the ‘big three’ qualitative approaches. Theory guides the researcher through the research process by providing a ‘lens’ to look at the phenomenon under study. Since qualitative researchers and the participants of their studies interact in a social process, researchers influence the research process. The first article described the key features of qualitative research, the third article will focus on sampling, data collection and analysis, while the last article focuses on trustworthiness and publishing.

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          Most cited references19

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          Series: Practical guidance to qualitative research. Part 4: Trustworthiness and publishing

          In the course of our supervisory work over the years we have noticed that qualitative research tends to evoke a lot of questions and worries, so-called frequently asked questions (FAQs). This series of four articles intends to provide novice researchers with practical guidance for conducting high-quality qualitative research in primary care. By ‘novice’ we mean Master’s students and junior researchers, as well as experienced quantitative researchers who are engaging in qualitative research for the first time. This series addresses their questions and provides researchers, readers, reviewers and editors with references to criteria and tools for judging the quality of qualitative research papers. The first article provides an introduction to this series. The second article focused on context, research questions and designs. The third article focused on sampling, data collection and analysis. This fourth article addresses FAQs about trustworthiness and publishing. Quality criteria for all qualitative research are credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability. Reflexivity is an integral part of ensuring the transparency and quality of qualitative research. Writing a qualitative research article reflects the iterative nature of the qualitative research process: data analysis continues while writing. A qualitative research article is mostly narrative and tends to be longer than a quantitative paper, and sometimes requires a different structure. Editors essentially use the criteria: is it new, is it true, is it relevant? An effective cover letter enhances confidence in the newness, trueness and relevance, and explains why your study required a qualitative design. It provides information about the way you applied quality criteria or a checklist, and you can attach the checklist to the manuscript.
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            Beyond PICO: the SPIDER tool for qualitative evidence synthesis.

            Standardized systematic search strategies facilitate rigor in research. Current search tools focus on retrieval of quantitative research. In this article we address issues relating to using existing search strategy tools, most typically the PICO (Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome) formulation for defining key elements of a review question, when searching for qualitative and mixed methods research studies. An alternative search strategy tool for qualitative/mixed methods research is outlined: SPIDER (Sample, Phenomenon of Interest, Design, Evaluation, Research type). We used both the SPIDER and PICO search strategy tools with a qualitative research question. We have used the SPIDER tool to advance thinking beyond PICO in its suitable application to qualitative and mixed methods research. However, we have highlighted once more the need for improved indexing of qualitative articles in databases. To constitute a viable alternative to PICO, SPIDER needs to be refined and tested on a wider range of topics.
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              Is Open Access

              Series: Practical guidance to qualitative research. Part 3: Sampling, data collection and analysis

              Abstract In the course of our supervisory work over the years, we have noticed that qualitative research tends to evoke a lot of questions and worries, so-called frequently asked questions (FAQs). This series of four articles intends to provide novice researchers with practical guidance for conducting high-quality qualitative research in primary care. By ‘novice’ we mean Master’s students and junior researchers, as well as experienced quantitative researchers who are engaging in qualitative research for the first time. This series addresses their questions and provides researchers, readers, reviewers and editors with references to criteria and tools for judging the quality of qualitative research papers. The second article focused on context, research questions and designs, and referred to publications for further reading. This third article addresses FAQs about sampling, data collection and analysis. The data collection plan needs to be broadly defined and open at first, and become flexible during data collection. Sampling strategies should be chosen in such a way that they yield rich information and are consistent with the methodological approach used. Data saturation determines sample size and will be different for each study. The most commonly used data collection methods are participant observation, face-to-face in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. Analyses in ethnographic, phenomenological, grounded theory, and content analysis studies yield different narrative findings: a detailed description of a culture, the essence of the lived experience, a theory, and a descriptive summary, respectively. The fourth and final article will focus on trustworthiness and publishing qualitative research.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Eur J Gen Pract
                Eur J Gen Pract
                The European Journal of General Practice
                Taylor & Francis
                1381-4788
                1751-1402
                29 November 2017
                2017
                29 November 2017
                : 23
                : 1
                : 274-279
                Affiliations
                [a ]Faculty of Health Care, Research Centre for Midwifery Science, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences , Maastricht, The Netherlands;
                [b ]Faculty of Health Care, Research Centre Autonomy and Participation of Chronically Ill People, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences , Heerlen, The Netherlands;
                [c ]Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Department of Family Medicine, Maastricht University , Maastricht, The Netherlands
                Author notes
                CONTACT Irene Korstjens im.korstjens@ 123456av-m.nl Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Health Care, Research Centre for Midwifery Science , PO Box 1256, 6201 BG, Maastricht, The Netherlands
                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4814-468X
                Article
                1375090
                10.1080/13814788.2017.1375090
                8816399
                29185826
                1efa26da-4760-424f-a7a0-ba6740625937
                © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Pages: 6, Words: 4335
                Categories
                Research Article
                Methodological Paper

                Medicine
                general practice/family medicine,general qualitative designs and methods
                Medicine
                general practice/family medicine, general qualitative designs and methods

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