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What have sampling and data collection got to do with good qualitative research?


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Gibbs, L, Kealy, M, Willis, KF, Green, J, Welch, N and Daly, J 2007 , 'What have sampling and data collection got to do with good qualitative research?' , Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, vol. 31, no. 6 , pp. 540-544 , doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2007.00140.x.

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Objective: To highlight the importance of
sampling and data collection processes in
qualitative interview studies, and to discuss
the contribution of these processes to
determining the strength of the evidence
generated and thereby to decisions for
public health practice and policy.
Approach: This discussion is informed by
a hierarchy-of-evidence-for-practice model.
The paper provides succinct guidelines
for key sampling and data collection
considerations in qualitative research
involving interview studies. The importance
of allowing time for immersion in a given
community to become familiar with the
context and population is discussed,
as well as the practical constraints that
sometimes operate against this stage.
The role of theory in guiding sample
selection is discussed both in terms of
identifying likely sources of rich data and
in understanding the issues emerging
from the data. It is noted that sampling
further assists in confirming the developing
evidence and also illuminates data that
does not seem to fit. The importance of
reporting sampling and data collection
processes is highlighted clearly to enable
others to assess both the strength of the
evidence and the broader applications of
the findings.
Conclusion: Sampling and data collection
processes are critical to determining the
quality of a study and the generalisability
of the findings. We argue that these
processes should operate within the
parameters of the research goal, be guided
by emerging theoretical considerations,
cover a range of relevant participant
perspectives, and be clearly outlined in
research reports with an explanation of any
research limitations.
Keywords: Qualitative

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Gibbs, L and Kealy, M and Willis, KF and Green, J and Welch, N and Daly, J
Keywords: Qualitative research; methods; evidence; interviews.
Journal or Publication Title: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
ISSN: 1326-0200
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2007.00140.x
Additional Information:

Copyright 2007 The Authors. Journal Compilation copyright 2007 Public Health Association of Australia

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