A multi-stage approach to the coding of data from open-ended questions

Nurse Res. 1996 Oct 1;4(1):81-91. doi: 10.7748/nr.4.1.81.s9.


One of the criticisms of qualitative research is that the processes and procedures of data analysis tire often not made explicit ( 1 ). This criticism is particularly pertinent to the analysis of open-ended questions. This paper outlines an approach to analysing open-ended questions using content analysis, making explicit the processes and procedures involved. The paper will also describe how the challenge of ensuring rigour and maintaining the diversity and subtlety of responses, which can easily be lost when attempting to quantify qualitative data, can be overcome.