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      Three Approaches to Qualitative Content Analysis

      1 , 2
      Qualitative Health Research
      SAGE Publications

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          Abstract

          Content analysis is a widely used qualitative research technique. Rather than being a single method, current applications of content analysis show three distinct approaches: conventional, directed, or summative. All three approaches are used to interpret meaning from the content of text data and, hence, adhere to the naturalistic paradigm. The major differences among the approaches are coding schemes, origins of codes, and threats to trustworthiness. In conventional content analysis, coding categories are derived directly from the text data. With a directed approach, analysis starts with a theory or relevant research findings as guidance for initial codes. A summative content analysis involves counting and comparisons, usually of keywords or content, followed by the interpretation of the underlying context. The authors delineate analytic procedures specific to each approach and techniques addressing trustworthiness with hypothetical examples drawn from the area of end-of-life care.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Qualitative Health Research
          Qual Health Res
          SAGE Publications
          1049-7323
          1552-7557
          July 2016
          November 2005
          July 2016
          November 2005
          : 15
          : 9
          : 1277-1288
          Affiliations
          [1 ]Fooyin University, Kaohsiung Hsien, Taiwan
          [2 ]University of Washington, Seattle
          Article
          10.1177/1049732305276687
          16204405
          e3fa3666-ea2b-4108-a2eb-30af4a092b26
          © 2005

          http://journals.sagepub.com/page/policies/text-and-data-mining-license


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