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Qualitative Research and Content Analysis

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The Application of Content Analysis in Nursing Science Research


This chapter presents a general overview of qualitative research. Scholars can employ diverse quantitative and qualitative research designs to investigate a phenomenon of interest. However, thorough descriptions of these methods are beyond the scope of this book. Rather, the aim is to provide a general picture of qualitative research and an accurate, comprehensible explanation of content analysis and its potential applications, e.g., in systematic literature review and theory development. Research areas within nursing science are multi-faceted and focus on the human being, environment, health and nursing. Hence, different research designs are needed to answer distinct research questions. Qualitative research approaches are commonly used when there is little current understanding of a complex phenomenon (which cannot be addressed simply by taking physical measurements), if an issue is being considered from a new perspective, or if current knowledge is fragmented. Content analysis is one of the many methods used in qualitative research. The main advantages of content analysis are that it is content-sensitive, can be applied in highly flexible research designs, and used to analyse many types of qualitative data.

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Correspondence to Helvi Kyngäs .

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Kyngäs, H. (2020). Qualitative Research and Content Analysis. In: Kyngäs, H., Mikkonen, K., Kääriäinen, M. (eds) The Application of Content Analysis in Nursing Science Research. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-30198-9

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