The role of qualitative research in broadening the 'evidence base' for clinical practice

J Eval Clin Pract. 2000 May;6(2):155-63. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2753.2000.00213.x.


This paper presents the case for seeking to broaden the 'evidence base' of medicine and health care by the inclusion of qualitative research findings. In order for qualitative research to make a significant contribution, advocates of this approach must demonstrate its ability to address questions of relevance to practice and proponents of EBM must rethink their ideas as to what may constitute a research question. A definition of qualitative research is provided, highlighting the somewhat different assumptions which underpin this model. The potential contribution of qualitative findings is assessed and the paper examines the ways in which such insights can be utilized. Finally it addresses the question as to how qualitative findings can be incorporated in the 'evidence base'.

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Research*