Welcome to our curated collection of Qualitative Research Resources for nurses and midwives interested in research. If you know any relevant resources, please send them to Lucy Pratt.

Qualitative research resources

This is an accessible, practical textbook which helps with planning and managing a qualitative research project. It avoids detailed theoretical discussion in favour of providing comprehensive tips and broad guidance for starting and completing successful qualitative research. Braun and Clarke provide a “thematic analysis” to qualitative data analysis in this book. They comparing and contrast thematic analysis with other commonly adopted qualitative analysis approaches. This discussion of commonalities, explaining why and when each method should be used, and in the context of looking at patterns, is invaluable in the qualitative research journey. A great how-to guide, whilst avoiding the trap of providing a cookbook recipe to analysis.

This article discusses the use of a thematic analysis approach in qualitative research. It discusses the strengths and weaknesses of thematic analysis, as well as clear guidelines to using thematic analysis with examples.

This often-cited paper provides context on the theoretically flexible approach of using thematic analysis to analyse qualitative data and provides insights into coding, categories and analytical themes. However, it provides limited practical insights into the process of coding and constructing thematic maps.

Starting with what’s special about qualitative data, this book covers more than simply data collection. It guides you through skilfully, thoughtfully, and ethically designing a project, managing data, exploring records, creating and justifying sound theories, and reporting results in ways that will be heard.

This article focuses on data analysis within qualitative research, and suggests an approach to analysing more unstructured, text-based data. It outlines stages in data analysis, including transcription, coding, analysis and the One Sheet Of Paper (OSOP) method. This practical technique helps in visualising the data, connections and the processes of identifying the story within each theme. The article also introduces the DIPEx website which hosts a public collection of research that may be useful in medical education.

This seminal and invaluable textbook demystifies the qualitative coding process with a comprehensive assessment of different coding types, examples and exercises. It neatly guides you through the multiple approaches available for coding qualitative data. It details straightforward and more complex techniques, providing a complete toolkit of codes and skills that can be applied to research projects.

The focus of this paper is ensuring credibility throughout the research process. Considerations include identifying internal and external resources and researchers considering their own bias and influence on the research.

This paper describes the research process when qualitative content analysis is chosen within a qualitative study. The purpose of content analysis is to organise and elicit meaning from the data collected and to draw realistic conclusions from it. This method is less focused on the interaction between researcher and participant, and more on analysing the data that is produced. Content analysis can be performed on secondary data, or primary data collected from social media posts, for example.

This is another article that focuses on the use of thematic analysis. It outlines what thematic analysis is, how it relates to other methods of qualitative analysis, and gives guidance on when it is appropriate to use it.

This is the resource set up by Braun and Clarke including recordings of their webinars. For anyone carrying out this type of qualitative analysis it is a really useful resource!

Assessing quality in qualitative research

This paper provides an introductory overview of the use and assessment of qualitative research methods in the health sciences, and includes helpful information on how the methods can be used, reported and assessed. Criteria such as checklists, reflexivity, sampling strategies, piloting, co-coding, member-checking and stakeholder involvement can be used to enhance and assess the quality of the research conducted. Using qualitative in addition to quantitative designs will equip researchers with better tools to address a greater range of research problems.

This article discusses engaging in critical appraisal of qualitative research.  It discusses whether critical appraisal is necessary, how it is currently performed and what needs to be re-thought in the future.

This article discusses quality in thematic analysis and breaks down some of the common issues that arise with published thematic analysis. It also provides some advice on improving the quality of thematic analysis.

Sample size in qualitative research

This article provides guidance on selecting sample sizes in qualitative research. The article suggests moving away from the use of ‘data saturation’, the concept of stopping collecting data when the dataset becomes saturated with the same information. The authors instead proposes the alternative concept of ‘information power’, meaning the more relevant information the sample holds in answering the research question, the lower the number of participants required.

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