Validity in qualitative research

Qual Health Res. 2001 Jul;11(4):522-37. doi: 10.1177/104973201129119299.


Much contemporary dialogue has centered on the difficulty of establishing validity criteria in qualitative research. Developing validity standards in qualitative research is challenging because of the necessity to incorporate rigor and subjectivity as well as creativity into the scientific process. This article explores the extant issues related to the science and art of qualitative research and proposes a synthesis of contemporary viewpoints. A distinction between primary and secondary validity criteria in qualitative research is made with credibility, authenticity, criticality, and integrity identified as primary validity criteria and explicitness, vividness, creativity, thoroughness, congruence, and sensitivity identified as secondary validity criteria.

MeSH terms

  • Evaluation Studies as Topic*
  • Health Services Research / methods*
  • Health Services Research / standards
  • Humans
  • Reproducibility of Results*
  • United States