Can sample size in qualitative research be determined a priori?

by Altmetric Debate Can sample size in qualitative research be determined a priori? Julius Sim, Benjamin Saunders, Jackie Waterfield, Tom Kingstone

There has been considerable recent interest in methods of determining sample size for qualitative research a priori, rather than through an adaptive approach such as saturation. Extending previous literature in this area, we identify four distinct approaches to determining sample size in this way: rules of thumb, conceptual models, numerical guidelines derived from empirical studies, and statistical formulae. 

12th July 2019 • comment

Grounded Theory is used frequently and discussed often by qualitative researchers, and can be a very useful methodology for indepth analysis of data - yet it can be quite confusing for new researchers to learn about - partly because there are different variants and methods. Here, we provide a list of useful resources to help you get your head around grounded theory.

24th June 2019 • comment

This practical guide can be accessed online, and comes with Global Health Social Sciences' complete recommendation! This book provides a practical way of thinking about GT in relation to your project, taking the reader through the stages involved with developing a coding framework and generating theory from your data. 

11th March 2019 • comment

We report a qualitative study embedded in a trial of second antidepressant for people who had not responded to one antidepressant, exploring the acceptability of a combination of antidepressants from the perspectives of both patients and practitioners, together with experiences of participating in a clinical trial.

17th December 2018 • comment

In this commentary, I trace the evolution of this trend, illustrating how a reasonable original intent has taken a misguided turn in the context of competing understandings and priorities in health care knowledge development.

17th December 2018 • comment

Protective parents and permissive children: what qualitative interviews with parents and children can tell us about the feasibility of juvenile idiopathic arthritis trials

by Frances C. Sherratt, Louise Roper, Simon R. Stones, Flora McErlane, Matthew Peak, Michael W. Beresford, Helen Foster, Athimalaipet V. Ramanan, Madeleine Rooney, Eileen Baildam, Bridget Young

Studies involving CYP are advocated in the literature but we are not aware of any early stage feasibility studies that have qualitatively accessed the perspectives of parents and CYP with a long term condition to inform design and conduct of a trial. In the context of a feasibility study to inform the design of a proposed randomised controlled trial of corticosteroid induction regimen in JIA, we explored families’ perspectives on the proposed trial and on JIA trials generally.

17th December 2018 • comment

Nurses’ perceptions towards the delivery and feasibility of a behaviour change intervention to enhance activity in patients at risk for cardiovascular disease in primary care: a qualitative study

by Heleen Westland, Yvonne Koop, Carin D. Schröder, Marieke J. Schuurmans, P. Slabbers, Jaap C. A. Trappenburg, Sigrid C. J. M. Vervoort

 This study aimed to evaluate nurses’ perceptions towards the delivery and feasibility of the Activate intervention.

17th December 2018 • comment

Including qualitative research in Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT): opportunities for nursing researchers

by Loredana Sasso, Mark Hayter, Gianluca Catania, Giuseppe Aleo, Milko P Zanini , Annamaria Bagnasco

n this editorial we argue that qualitative research can enhance the quality, rigor and depth of an RCT –but at present this is an opportunity that is frequently missed. We further propose that not only can qualitative research enhance the design and conduct of an RCT it also provides an opportunity for qualitative researchers (often nurse researchers) and research nurses (often not actively involved in undertaking research) to work with medical colleagues to improve the quality of RCT design.

6th November 2018 • comment

This page provides links to commonly used reporting guidelines for qualitative research, as well as articles which provide useful information about how to write about your research.

22nd October 2018 • comment

This paper provides a general guide to presenting qualitative research for publication in a way that has meaning for authors and readers, is acceptable to editors and reviewers, and meets criteria for high standards of qualitative research reporting across the board. We discuss the writing of all sections of an article, placing particular emphasis on how you might best present your findings, illustrating our points with examples drawn from previous issues of this Journal. 

22nd October 2018 • comment

Generalisation in relation to qualitative research has rarely been discussed in-depth in sport and exercise psychology, the sociology of sport, sport coaching, or sport management journals. Often there is no mention of generalizability in qualitative studies. When generalizability is mentioned in sport and exercise science journals it is often talked about briefly or highlighted as a limitation/weakness of qualitative research.

4th October 2018 • comment

As the use of qualitative methods in health research proliferates, it becomes increasingly necessary to consider how the value of a piece of qualitative research should be assessed. This article discusses the problem posed by the novelty and diversity of qualitative approaches within health psychology and considers the question of what criteria are appropriate for assessing the validity of a qualitative analysis.

4th October 2018 • comment

This article presents a model for quality in qualitative research that is uniquely expansive, yet flexible, in that it makes distinctions among qualitative research’s means (methods and practices) and its ends.

4th October 2018 • comment

Interviewing adolescents on sensitive topics: some lessons from the field

by Mary Nyambura, Nancy Mwangome, Derrick Ssewanyana, Anderson Charo, Rita Wanjuki, Scholastica Zakayo, Irene Jao

In planning for a second Kenyan case study for REACH a multi-country study aiming to understand ethical dilemmas and appropriate responses in studies involving vulnerable populations – we needed some advice on how to conduct interviews with adolescents exposed to HIV (HIV positive themselves, or having HIV positive parents).  Here are some of the ideas on interviewing adolescents that we shared in a 2-hour brainstorming session. 

31st July 2018 • comment

The Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach and paradigm is gaining ground within implementation and operational research agendas for international health interventions and programmes. The action planning, implementation and reflection stages allow for immediate research uptake and modification. 

31st July 2018 • comment

Doing analysis as a team: headache or helpful?

by Dennis Waithaka , Nancy Kagwanja

Most of us sharing our analysis approaches in the qualitative analysis workshop are working in some kind of team: even the PhD students talked about involving their supervisors or colleagues in the analytical process. There can be headaches and challenges in working as part of a team, but it can be enjoyable, and enrich our learning and the rigor of our analysis. Here, we draw on our experiences of analyzing our recently collected data to describe how teamwork has contributed to the process of analysis for our qualitative research.

23rd July 2018 • comment

HDSS occupy a grey area between research, health care and public health, and have received little attention in the ethics literature and guidelines.  Together with my supervisors, I recently developed a coding framework to analyse qualitative individual interview and focus group discussion data that I collected from two HDSS sites in Kenya. 

23rd July 2018 • comment

Interview summaries provide a concise description of information under a series of headings, usually including the key points of what was said, as well as any non-verbal observations and reflections by those present on the quality and context of the interview. This paper describes how to use interview summaries in your research.

23rd July 2018 • comment

Preparing data: the not-so-simple stage of transcription and translation

by Sophie Chabeda, Jane Kahindi, Manya Van Ryneveld

These helpful notes from a workshop conducted in May 2018 provide useful guidance about translation and transcription of qualitative research data

23rd July 2018 • comment

Knowledge and attitude towards Ebola and Marburg virus diseases in Uganda using quantitative and participatory epidemiology techniques

by Luke Nyakarahuka, Eystein Skjerve, Daisy Nabadda, Doreen Chilolo Sitali, Chisoni Mumba, Frank N. Mwiine5, Julius J. Lutwama, Stephen Balinandi, Trevor Shoemaker, Clovice Kankya

Useful paper which uses mixed qualitative and quantitative methods to consider knowledge and practices around ebola and marburg virus in Uganda

27th May 2018 • comment

Unintended consequences of the ‘bushmeat ban’ in West Africa during the 2013–2016 Ebola virus disease epidemic

by Jesse Bonwitt, Michael Dawson, Martin Kandeh, Rashid Ansumana, Foday Sahr, Hannah Brown, Ann H. Kelly

This interesting article uses qualitative research to consider the impacts of the bushmeat ban, and consider whether illegalising bushmeat had the desired effect. Useful, interesting paper for anyone with an interest in the ebola virus and how to encourage behaviour change.

27th May 2018 • comment

10 best resources on power in health policy and systems in low- and middle-income countries

by Veena Sriram, Stephanie M Topp, Marta Schaaf, Arima Mishra, Walter Flores, Subramania Raju Rajasulochana, Kerry Scott

"In order to facilitate greater engagement with the concept of power among researchers and practitioners in the health systems and policy realm, we share a broad overview of the concept of power, and list 10 excellent resources on power in health policy and systems in low- and middle-income countries, covering exemplary frameworks, commentaries and empirical work. We undertook a two-stage process to identify these resources."

12th March 2018 • comment

This helpful presentation is the result of a workshop held in Durban by The Global Health Bioethics Network (course facilitators: Maureen Kelley, Patricia Kingori, Dorcas Kamuya, Mike Parker).

7th December 2017 • comment

Developing and Implementing a Triangulation Protocol for Qualitative Health Research

by Tracy Farmer, Kerry Robinson, Susan J. Elliott, John Eyles

In this article, the authors present an empirical example of triangulation in qualitative health research. The authors collected qualitative data within a parallel–case study design using key informant interviews as well as document analysis, and develop, implement, and reflect on a triangulation protocol..

15th November 2017 • comment

Conducting good, ethical global health research is now more important than ever. Increased global mobility and connectivity mean that in today’s world there is no such thing as ‘local health’. As a collection, these stories offer a flexible resource for training across a variety of contexts, such as medical research organizations, universities, collaborative sites, and NGOs. 

12th November 2017 • comment

An Introduction to Qualitative Research: a toolkit from NIHR

by Hancock B., Windridge K., and Ockleford E.

This helpful NIHR toolkit provides a comprehensive guide to the stages of designing and planning, carrying out, and reporting on a qualitative study, and includes useful exercises. We recommend it to anyone needing a useful, broad guide. 

17th October 2017 • comment

In defence of governance: ethics review and social research

by Mark Sheehan, Michael Dunn, Kate Sahan

This Journal of Medical Ethics article discusses governance around social sciences and ethical review

17th October 2017 • comment

Assessing quality in qualitative research can be very different to other research types. Here we have compiled some resources which may help to assess the quality of research in different ways.

17th October 2017 • comment

There are many different approaches to analysing qualitative data. This article aims to bring together resources and articles around some of the more common types of analysis, so that you can easily find what you need.

10th August 2017 • comment

Useful videos about conducting focus groups for qualitative research 

26th July 2017 • comment

Useful YouTube videos about conducting qualitative research interviews

26th July 2017 • comment

King's College London is currently inviting applications for the post of Research Associate

8th March 2017 • comment

Using Gender Analysis within Qualitative Research

by Research in Gender and Ethics (RinGs)

Gender analysis entails researchers seeking to understand gender power relations and norms and their implications, including the nature of women’s, men’s, and people of other gender’s lives, how their needs and experiences differ, the causes and consequences of these differences, and how services and polices might address these differences. 

23rd September 2016 • comment

Social science guidance from the ACT Consortium available for wider research community, including training materials, SOPs, template protoclos and other tools.

13th January 2014 • comment