Advertisement

Appraisal of Qualitative Studies

  • Camilla S. HansonEmail author
  • Angela Ju
  • Allison Tong
Reference work entry

Abstract

The appraisal of health research is an essential skill required of readers in order to determine the extent to which the findings may inform evidence-based policy and practice. The appraisal of qualitative research remains highly contentious, and there is a lack of consensus regarding a standard approach to appraising qualitative studies. Different guides and tools are available for the critical appraisal of qualitative research. While these guides propose different criteria for assessment, overarching principles of rigor have been widely adopted, and these include credibility, dependability, confirmability, transferability, and reflexivity. This chapter will discuss the importance of appraising qualitative research, the principles and techniques for establishing rigor, and future directions regarding the use of guidelines to appraise qualitative research.

Keywords

Appraisal Quality criteria Qualitative research Rigor Trustworthiness 

References

  1. Anyan F. The influence of power shifts in data collection and analysis stages: a focus on qualitative research interview. Qual Rep. 2013;18(18):1.Google Scholar
  2. Barbour RS. Checklists for improving rigour in qualitative research: a case of the tail wagging the dog? BMJ: Br Med J. 2001;322(7294):1115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. CASP. CASP qualitative research checklist. http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/dded87_25658615020e427da194a325e7773d42.pdf. Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (2017).
  4. Dixon-Woods M, Shaw RL, Agarwal S, Smith JA. The problem of appraising qualitative research. Qual Saf Health Care. 2004;13(3):223–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dixon-Woods M, Sutton A, Shaw R, Miller T, Smith J, Young B, … Jones D. Appraising qualitative research for inclusion in systematic reviews: a quantitative and qualitative comparison of three methods. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2007;12(1):42–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Giacomini MK, Cook DJ, Group, E.-B. M. W. Users’ guides to the medical literature: XXIII. Qualitative research in health care A. Are the results of the study valid? JAMA. 2000;284(3):357–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Higgins JP, Altman DG, Gøtzsche PC, Jüni P, Moher D, Oxman AD, … Sterne JA. The Cochrane collaboration’s tool for assessing risk of bias in randomised trials. BMJ. 2011;343:d5928.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hill A, Spittlehouse C. Evidence based medicine-what is critical appraisal. Newmarket: Heyward Med Commun; 2003.Google Scholar
  9. Kenwood K, Pigeon N. Qualitative research and psychological theorising. Br J Psychol. 1992;83(1):97–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kitto SC, Chesters J, Grbich C. Quality in qualitative research. Med J Aust. 2008;188(4):243.Google Scholar
  11. Krueger RA. Focus groups: a practical guide for applied research. Singapore: Sage; 2014.Google Scholar
  12. Kuper A, Lingard L, Levinson W. Critically appraising qualitative research. BMJ. 2008;337:a1035–a1035.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Liamputtong P. Researching the vulnerable: a guide to sensitive research methods. London: Sage; 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Liamputtong, P. Focus group methodology: Principle and practice. Sage Publications. 2011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Liamputtong P. Qualitative research methods. 4th ed. Melbourne: Oxford University Press; 2013.Google Scholar
  16. Lincoln YS, Guba EG. But is it rigorous? Trustworthiness and authenticity in naturalistic evaluation. N Dir Eval. 1986;1986(30):73–84.Google Scholar
  17. Mays N, Pope C. Assessing quality in qualitative research. BMJ. 2000;320(7226):50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mays N, Pope C. Quality in qualitative health research. In: Qualitative research in health care. 3rd ed. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK. 2007. p. 82–101.Google Scholar
  19. Meyrick J. What is good qualitative research? A first step towards a comprehensive approach to judging rigour/quality. J Health Psychol. 2006;11(5):799–808.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Noyes J, Popay J, Pearson A, Hannes K. 20 qualitative research and Cochrane reviews. Jackie Chandler (ed.) In: Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions. United Kingdom: The Cochrane Collaboration. 2008. p. 571.Google Scholar
  21. O’reilly M, Parker N. ‘Unsatisfactory saturation’: a critical exploration of the notion of saturated sample sizes in qualitative research. Qual Res. 2013;13(2):190–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Patton MQ. Enhancing the quality and credibility of qualitative analysis. Health Serv Res. 1999;34(5 Pt 2):1189.Google Scholar
  23. Patton MQ. Qualitative research and evaluation methods. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage; 2015.Google Scholar
  24. Popay J, Rogers A, Williams G. Rationale and standards for the systematic review of qualitative literature in health services research. Qual Health Res. 1998;8(3):341–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pope C, Mays N. Qualitative research in health care. 3rd ed. Malden: Blackwell; 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rao D, Kekwaletswe T, Hosek S, Martinez J, Rodriguez F. Stigma and social barriers to medication adherence with urban youth living with HIV. AIDS Care. 2007;19(1):28–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Råheim M, Magnussen LH, Sekse RJT, Lunde Å, Jacobsen T, Blystad A. Researcher–researched relationship in qualitative research: Shifts in positions and researcher vulnerability. International journal of qualitative studies on health and well-being. 2016;11(1):30996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sandelowski M. Sample size in qualitative research. Res Nurs Health. 1995;18(2):179–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shorey S, Dennis CL, Bridge S, Chong YS, Holroyd E, He HG. First-time fathers’ postnatal experiences and support needs: a descriptive qualitative study. J Adv Nurs. 2017;73:2987–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Spencer, L, Ritchie J, Lewis J, and Dillon L. Quality in Qualitative Evaluatoin: A framework for assessing research evidence, Government Chief Social Researcher’s Office, London: Cabinet Office. 2003.Google Scholar
  31. Tong A, Dew MA. Qualitative research in transplantation: ensuring relevance and rigor. Transplantation. 2016;100(4):710–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tong A, Sainsbury P, Craig J. Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ): a 32-item checklist for interviews and focus groups. Int J Qual Health C. 2007;19(6):349–57.  https://doi.org/10.1093/intqhc/mzm042.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Camilla S. Hanson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Angela Ju
    • 1
    • 2
  • Allison Tong
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Sydney School of Public HealthThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Kidney ResearchThe Children’s Hospital at WestmeadWestmeadAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Kidney ResearchThe Children’s Hospital at WestmeadWestmeadAustralia

Personalised recommendations