This article is divided into two main parts and aims, on the one hand, at explaining the origins and chronology of the phenomenon called the "diary", and on the other hand, at the sociological aspects of its use and role in social research. It intends to shed a new light on the historical, methodological, epistemological and ethical challenges facing the social scientist when choosing to use diaries for qualitative knowledge of social life.

31st July 2019 • comment

Longitudinal qualitative research methods can add depth and understanding to health care research, especially on topics such as chronic conditions, adherence and changing health policies. In this manuscript we describe when and how to undertake two different applied approaches to analyzing longitudinal qualitative data: a recurrent cross sectional approach and a trajectory approach.

31st July 2019 • comment

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

Generating best evidence from qualitative research: the role of data analysis

by Julie Green, Karen Willis, Emma Hughes, Rhonda Small, Nicky Welch, Lisa Gibbs, Jeanne Daly

We explore the clear links between data analysis and evidence. We argue that transparency in the data analysis process is integral to determining the evidence that is generated. Data analysis must occur concurrently with data collection and comprises an ongoing process of ‘testing the fit’ between the data collected and analysis. We discuss four steps in the process of thematic data analysis: immersion, coding, categorisingand generation of themes.

28th May 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

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
15th August 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

Challenges facing young African scientists in their research careers: A qualitative exploratory study

by Save Kumwenda, El Hadji A Niang, Pauline W Orondo, Pote William, Lateefah Oyinlola, Gedeon N Bongo, Bernadette Chiwona

This interesting study uses questionnaires to ask researchers about how they developed their interests in science, and how we can support young researchers to encourage more research in LMICs

17th May 2018 • comment

The grounded theory (GT) method is widely applied, yet frequently misunderstood. We outline the main variants of GT and dispel the most common myths associated with GT. We argue that the different variants of GT incorporate a core set of shared procedures that can be put to work by any researcher or team from their chosen ontological and epistemological perspective.

10th April 2018 • comment

What Drives Academic Data Sharing?

by Benedikt Fecher, Sascha Friesike, Marcel Hebing

!Based on a systematic review of 98 scholarly papers and an empirical survey among 603 secondary data users, we develop a conceptual framework [of data sharing] that explains the process of data sharing from the primary researcher’s point of view. We show that this process can be divided into six descriptive categories."

3rd April 2018 • comment
26th March 2018 • comment

Research Involving Health Providers and Managers: Ethical Issues Faced by Researchers Conducting Diverse Health Policy and Systems Research in Kenya.

by Sassy Molyneux, Benjamin Tsofa, Edwine Barasa, Mary Muyoka Nyikuri, Evelyn Wanjiku Waweru, Catherine Goodman, Lucy Gilson

The authors examine the ethical issues that arose for researchers over the course of conducting three HPSR studies in Kenya in which health managers and providers were key participants. 

23rd March 2018 • comment

The importance of gender analysis in research for health systems strengthening

by Sally Theobold, Rosemary Morgan, Kate Hawkins, Sarah Ssali, Asha George, Sassy Molyneux

This editorial discusses a collection of papers examining gender across a range of health policy and systems contexts, from access to services, governance, health financing, and human resources for health.

23rd March 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

Saturation in qualitative research: exploring its conceptualization and operationalization

by Benjamin Saunders, Julius Sim, Tom Kingstone, Shula Baker, Jackie Waterfield, Bernadette Bartlam, Heather Burroughs, Clare Jinks

In this paper, we look to clarify the nature, purposes and uses of saturation, and in doing so add to theoretical debate on the role of saturation across different methodologies. We identify four distinct approaches to saturation, which differ in terms of the extent to which an inductive or a deductive logic is adopted, and the relative emphasis on data collection, data analysis, and theorizing.

19th February 2018 • comment

Experiences of using life histories with health workers in post-conflict and crisis settings: methodological reflections

by Sophie Witter, Justine Namakula, Alvaro Alonso-Garbayo, Haja Wurie, Sally Theobald, Wilson Mashange, Bandeth Ros, Stephen Buzuzi, Richard Mangwi, Tim Martineau

In this paper, we examine our experience of using life histories to explore health system trajectories coming out of conflict through the eyes of health workers

13th February 2018 • comment

The aim of this study is to explore what participation means for children (including those with and without disability) in rural Northern Malawi.

13th February 2018 • comment

This paper looks at the infants in Malawi who suffered from low birth weight, and asks the question: how can we improve the outcomes? 

13th February 2018 • comment

This article looks at Traditional Birth Attendants in Somaliland and Sierra Leone and at the important role they play in their commiunities. 

13th February 2018 • comment

In this paper, qualitative research was used alongside large clinical community-based studies conducted on the Kenyan Coast to explore how gender and power relations within households and communities and between fieldworkers and communities shape consent processes and interactions.

13th February 2018 • comment

Involving Research Stakeholders in Developing Policy on Sharing Public Health Research Data in Kenya

by Irene Jao, Francis Kombe, Salim Mwalukore, Susan Bull, Michael Parker, Dorcas Kamuya, Sassy Molyneux, Vicki Marsh

Views on Fair Process for Informed Consent, Access Oversight, and Community Engagement

6th February 2018 • comment

Trust, Respect, and Reciprocity: Informing Culturally Appropriate Data-Sharing Practice in Vietnam

by Laura Merson, Tran Viet Phong, Le Nguyen Thanh Nhan, Nguyen Thanh Dung, Ta Thi Dieu Ngan, Nguyen Van Kinh, Michael Parker, Susan Bull

Informing Culturally Appropriate Data-Sharing Practice in Vietnam.

6th February 2018 • comment

Perceived Benefits, Harms, and Views About How to Share Data Responsibly

by Phaik Yeong Cheah, Decha Tangseefa, Aimatcha Somsaman, Tri Chunsuttiwat, François Nosten, Nicholas P. J. Day, Susan Bull, Michael Parker

A Qualitative Study of Experiences With and Attitudes Toward Data Sharing Among Research Staff and Community Representatives in Thailand.

6th February 2018 • 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

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

Increasing demand for qualitative research within global health has emerged alongside increasing demand for demonstration of quality of research, in line with the evidence-based model of medicine......

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

Lymphatic filariasis is endemic in Nepal. This study aimed to investigate health-seeking behaviors and self-care practices of people with filarial Lymphoedema in Nepal.

17th July 2017 • comment

This review assessed the effects of women's groups practising participatory learning and action, compared with usual care, on birth outcomes in low-resource settings. With the participation of at least a third of pregnant women and adequate population coverage, women's groups practising participatory learning and action are a cost-effective strategy to improve maternal and neonatal survival in low-resource settings.

3rd April 2017 • comment

Sarah Drew shares her research diary about conducting ethnographic fieldwork in Malawi as part of a Clubfoot study.

16th March 2017 • comment

Cochrane Crowd, Cochrane’s new citizen science platform, recently ran a successful 48 hour citation screening challenge to reach the goal of 1 million research citations screened. The Cochrane Crowd team have provided this overview of the event.

18th January 2017 • comment

During ethnographic fieldwork a researcher works alongside participants to try to understand experiences and knowledge within a particular context. Ethnographers often spend long periods of time conducting fieldwork in order to achieve an insiders’ perspective. However, achieving this takes time and is not necessarily straightforward. This article focuses on some of the challenges I encountered of working within a new context, including personal interaction and mutual understanding of roles. It is hoped that future researchers will be encouraged to consider the impact of their own positionality on findings. 

19th December 2016 • comment

10 Best resources on… intersectionality with an emphasis on low- and middle-income countries

by Elizabeth Larson, Asha George, Rosemary Morgan, Tonia Peteat

This article, published in Oxfordjournals.org, discusses the issue of intersectionality in health inequities, defniing the issueand directing the reader to helpful resources on the topic.   

15th December 2016 • 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

Today,The Global Health Network launches Mesh: a new online platform co-created by its users and aiming to improve Community Engagement with health in low and middle income countries.

20th September 2016 • comment

Podoconiosis is a chronic, non-infectious disease resulting from exposure of bare feet to red-clay soil in tropical highlands. This study examined lay beliefs about explanatory models, health-seeking behaviours and self-care.

22nd August 2016 • comment

Mental Health Innovation Network (MHIN), a global community of mental health innovators, have released a toolkit which will help researchers communicate their findings to stakeholders. The toolkit is aimed at mental health research but can be applied to other types of research

17th November 2015 • comment

Guidance for non-economist audience on the importance of household costs related to seeking health care from the ACT Consortium.

4th August 2015 • comment

Field trials of interventions against disease in low and middle income countries (LMICs) may be complex and expensive undertakings. This 3rd edition of the Field Trials Toolbox has been compiled by over 30 contributors with extensive direct experience in the design, conduct, and analysis of field trials in LMICs, and it attempts to document their accumulated experience for the guidance of those who might undertake field trials of health interventions. It can be read in its entirety as an introduction to the field and/or can serve as a reference volume during each of the different stages of planning, conducting, and analysing a field trial.

13th July 2015 • comment

Consulting research stakeholders in Kenya on fair practice in research data sharing: Findings and Policy Implications - Dr Vicki Marsh

16th June 2015 • comment

Are you a research scientist working in Global Health? Or an institution looking for partners to run a clinical trial? Site Finder is for you.

5th June 2015 • comment

Ebola PPE guidelines - urgent need to revise WHO and CDC guidelines. This video shows an excerpt from keynote address 'The fuss about face masks', Professor Raina MacIntyre from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Australia.

14th October 2014 • comment
24th September 2014 • comment

This good practice document of the ESSENCE on Health Research initiative is designed to provide broad guidance on how best to strengthen research capacity with the maximum possible benefit. 

21st July 2014 • comment

Cognitive mapping is a participatory research methodology that documents, in visual form, a construct of the local environment in which people live and work. The authors adapted this method to provide detailed data about study locales to inform recruitment and retention strategies for HIV prevention community based clinical trials.

12th March 2014 • comment

New BMJ Open article: “Understanding the investigators: a qualitative study investigating the barriers and enablers to the implementation of local investigator-initiated clinical trials in Ethiopia” This article was written by the research team at Global Health Trials in collaboration with researchers from Ethopia, Sri Lanka and Peru. The research was initiated in response to the low volume of clinical trials conducted by investigators in Low and Middle Income Countries.

4th December 2013 • comment

Towards an Understanding of Disengagement from HIV Treatment and Care in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Qualitative Study

by Norma C. Ware, Monique A. Wyatt, Elvin H. Geng, Sylvia F. Kaaya, Oche O. Agbaji, Winnie R. Muyindike, Guerino Chalamilla, Patricia A. Agaba
23rd October 2013 • comment

The ACT consortium have developed and piloted an approach through which qualitative research activities can be assessed and strengthened: the ‘quality assessment and strengthening’ (QAS) approach.  This article explains the QAS approach and gives an example protocol.

10th June 2013 • comment

This study informs the development of future antenatal care programmes through a synthesis of findings in all relevant qualitative studies.

22nd March 2013 • comment