Classifying the findings in qualitative studies

Qual Health Res. 2003 Sep;13(7):905-23. doi: 10.1177/1049732303253488.


A key task in conducting research integration studies is determining what features to account for in the research reports eligible for inclusion. In the course of a methodological project, the authors found a remarkable uniformity in the way findings were produced and presented, no matter what the stated or implied frame of reference or method. They describe a typology of findings, which they developed to bypass the discrepancy between method claims and the actual use of methods, and efforts to ascertain its utility and reliability. The authors propose that the findings in journal reports of qualitative studies in the health domain can be classified on a continuum of data transformation as no finding, topical survey, thematic survey, conceptual/thematic description, or interpretive explanation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic*
  • Qualitative Research*
  • Reproducibility of Results