Rigor in health-related research: toward an expanded conceptualization

Int J Health Serv. 1988;18(3):361-92. doi: 10.2190/E6E5-R0TP-PB1C-V4PK.


When the research process is viewed not merely as a set of methods for data collection and analysis but, instead, as an integrated series of arbitrary choices made by the researcher, it quickly becomes apparent that the prevailing conceptualization of rigor is much too narrow; indeed, the way rigor is currently conceptualized may well be responsible for the many errors that are commonly made in the research process. An expanded conceptualization of rigor is presented, and its implications for research into some critical health issues are discussed in some detail.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection / methods
  • Health Services Research / methods*
  • Research Design / methods
  • Research Design / standards*