Qualitative studies remain relatively uncommon in the transplant literature but are an important approach contributing unique strengths in some areas of research. With the increased focus on patient-centered research and decision-making, it is timely to review qualitative research in the context of transplantation. While quantitative research addresses questions about the effectiveness of interventions or associations between risk factors and outcomes, qualitative research has an equal and complementary role in providing understanding about people's behaviors, attitudes, and values. Qualitative research has provided insights into some of the important but elusive questions in transplantation, including the sources of barriers to organ donation and inequities in access to transplantation, nonadherence to immunosuppressive regimens, and complex psychosocial outcomes. This review highlights recent contributions of qualitative research to transplantation practice and policy, and identifies key principles to guide qualitative research appraisal.
© Copyright 2013 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.