A synthesis technique for grounded theory data analysis

J Adv Nurs. 2001 Sep;35(5):654-63. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.2001.01897.x.


Aims: The purposes of this paper are to examine the issues surrounding current changes in grounded theory (GT) research methods and to explicate an innovative synthesis technique to GT data analysis.

Background: In recent years there has been a steady rise in the number of published research reports that use the GT method. However, this growing body of GT literature has been criticized for its lack of adherence to the method as explicated by its originators, Glaser and Strauss.

Methods: Recent and past literature that explicates, describes, and discusses GT methods is reviewed. A synthesis technique for grounded theory data analysis was developed to analyse qualitative data collected for a grounded theory study on caregiving. This synthesis technique was derived from the works of four grounded theorists (Kathy Charmaz, Mark Chesler, Juliet Corbin and Anselm Strauss).

Results: The lack of clarity and the inconsistencies surrounding GT analysis, as reported in the literature, resulted in the development of a synthesis technique based on the works of the aforementioned-grounded theorists. The product was a synthesis approach that included analytical steps from each of these authors.

Conclusions: This synthesis approach increased understanding and enhanced clarity of GT data analysis techniques. This paper illustrates how integration of works by noted qualitative scholars is an appropriate and effective means to advance the discourse on data analysis for GT research studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American / psychology
  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Data Collection / standards
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Existentialism
  • Family / psychology
  • Humans
  • Models, Nursing
  • Nursing Methodology Research / methods*
  • Nursing Methodology Research / statistics & numerical data
  • Nursing Methodology Research / trends
  • Nursing Theory
  • Philosophy, Nursing
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design
  • Rural Population
  • Stroke / nursing