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

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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. 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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          Most cited references14

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          Systematic methodological review: developing a framework for a qualitative semi-structured interview guide.

          To produce a framework for the development of a qualitative semi-structured interview guide.
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            Is Open Access

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

            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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              Series: Practical guidance to qualitative research. Part 1: Introduction

              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. This journal 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 papers reporting on qualitative research. This first article describes the key features of qualitative research, provides publications for further learning and reading, and gives an outline of the series.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Eur J Gen Pract
                Eur J Gen Pract
                IGEN
                igen20
                The European Journal of General Practice
                Taylor & Francis
                1381-4788
                1751-1402
                2018
                04 December 2017
                : 24
                : 1
                : 9-18
                Affiliations
                [ a ] Faculty of Health Care, Research Centre Autonomy and Participation of Chronically Ill People, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences Heerlen The Netherlands
                [ b ] Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Department of Family Medicine, Maastricht University Maastricht The Netherlands
                [ c ] Faculty of Health Care, Research Centre for Midwifery Science, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences 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 MaastrichtThe Netherlands
                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4814-468X
                Article
                1375091
                10.1080/13814788.2017.1375091
                5774281
                29199486
                737e75ad-1ab2-428b-9f0e-12f158fb9aeb
                © 2018 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
                : 18 December 2016
                : 07 August 2017
                : 09 August 2017
                Page count
                Pages: 10, Words: 6700
                Categories
                Article
                Methodological Paper

                Medicine
                general practice/family medicine,general qualitative designs and methods,sampling,data collection,analysis

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