International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 671–675 | Cite as

Seeking to understand: using generic qualitative research to explore access to medicines and pharmacy services among resettled refugees

  • Kim BellamyEmail author
  • Remo Ostini
  • Nataly Martini
  • Therese Kairuz
Research Article


Introduction There are challenges associated with selecting a qualitative research approach. In a field abundant with terminology and theories, it may be difficult for a pharmacist to know where and how to begin a qualitative research journey. The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into generic qualitative research and to describe the journey of data collection of a novice qualitative researcher in the quest to answer her research question: ‘What are the barriers to accessing medicines and pharmacy services for resettled refugees in Queensland, Australia?’ Methodology Generic qualitative research draws on the strengths of one or more qualitative approaches. The aim is to draw out participants’ ideas about things that are ‘outside themselves’; rather than focussing on their inner feelings the research seeks to understand a phenomenon, a process, or the perspectives of participants. Sampling is designed to obtain a broad range of opinions about events and experiences and data collection includes interviews, questionnaires or surveys; thematic analysis is often used to analyse data. When to use Generic qualitative research provides an opportunity to develop research designs that fit researchers’ epistemological stance and discipline, with research choices, including methodology and methods, being informed by the research question. Limitations Generic qualitative research is one of many methodologies that may be used to answer a research question and there is a paucity of literature about how to do it well. There is also debate about its validity as a qualitative methodology.


Access to medicines Access to pharmacy services Methodology Qualitative research 




Conflicts of interest

There are no known conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 13 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim Bellamy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Remo Ostini
    • 2
  • Nataly Martini
    • 3
  • Therese Kairuz
    • 4
  1. 1.School of PharmacyThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Rural Clinical School Research Centre, School of MedicineThe University of QueenslandIpswichAustralia
  3. 3.School of PharmacyUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  4. 4.Pharmacy, College of Medicine and DentistryJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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