Why we need qualitative research in suicidology

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2010 Feb;40(1):74-80. doi: 10.1521/suli.2010.40.1.74.


Using the differentiation between explanations and understanding from philosophy of science as the point of departure, a critical look at the current mainstream suicidological research was launched. An almost exclusive use of quantitative methodology focusing on explanations is demonstrated. This bias in scope and methodology has to a large extent taken the suicidological field into a dead-end of repetitious research. It is argued that an increased focus on understanding and thus extended use of qualitative methodology is essential in bringing the suicidological field forward.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / methods
  • Humans
  • Qualitative Research*
  • Suicide*