Using reflexivity to optimize teamwork in qualitative research

Qual Health Res. 1999 Jan;9(1):26-44. doi: 10.1177/104973299129121677.


Reflexivity is often described as an individual activity. The authors propose that reflexivity employed as a team activity, through the sharing of reflexive writing (accounts of personal agendas, hidden assumptions, and theoretical definitions) and group discussions about arising issues, can improve the productivity and functioning of qualitative teams and the rigor and quality of the research. The authors review the literature on teamwork, highlighting benefits and pitfalls, and define and discuss the role for reflexivity. They describe their own team and detail how they work together on a project investigating doctor-patient communication about prescribing. The authors present two reflexive tools they have used and show through examples how they have influenced the effectiveness of their team in terms of process, quality, and outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Drug Prescriptions
  • Group Processes*
  • Health Services Research / methods*
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Research Personnel