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      Content analysis and thematic analysis: Implications for conducting a qualitative descriptive study : Qualitative descriptive study

      , 1 ,
      Nursing & Health Sciences
      Wiley

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          Abstract

          Qualitative content analysis and thematic analysis are two commonly used approaches in data analysis of nursing research, but boundaries between the two have not been clearly specified. In other words, they are being used interchangeably and it seems difficult for the researcher to choose between them. In this respect, this paper describes and discusses the boundaries between qualitative content analysis and thematic analysis and presents implications to improve the consistency between the purpose of related studies and the method of data analyses. This is a discussion paper, comprising an analytical overview and discussion of the definitions, aims, philosophical background, data gathering, and analysis of content analysis and thematic analysis, and addressing their methodological subtleties. It is concluded that in spite of many similarities between the approaches, including cutting across data and searching for patterns and themes, their main difference lies in the opportunity for quantification of data. It means that measuring the frequency of different categories and themes is possible in content analysis with caution as a proxy for significance. © 2013 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Nursing & Health Sciences
          Nurs Health Sci
          Wiley
          14410745
          September 2013
          September 2013
          March 11 2013
          : 15
          : 3
          : 398-405
          Affiliations
          [1 ]Department of Nursing Science; Kuopio Campus; University of Eastern Finland; Kuopio; Finland
          Article
          10.1111/nhs.12048
          23480423
          7a8cb74d-2850-4b4a-a6fb-5718cd70922d
          © 2013

          http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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