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

Albine Moser, Irene Korstjens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

835 Citations (Web of Science)

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of General Practice
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2017

Keywords

  • General practice/family medicine
  • general qualitative designs and methods
  • sampling
  • data collection
  • analysis

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