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Purposive sampling: complex or simple? Research case examples

Campbell, S ORCID: 0000-0003-4830-8488, Greenwood, M ORCID: 0000-0001-5840-0750, Prior, S ORCID: 0000-0001-5782-9141, Shearer, T ORCID: 0000-0003-0558-1476, Walkem, K ORCID: 0000-0001-5566-0266, Young, SM ORCID: 0000-0003-3384-670X, Bywaters, D and Walker, K ORCID: 0000-0002-0267-416X 2020 , 'Purposive sampling: complex or simple? Research case examples' , Journal of Research in Nursing , pp. 1-10 , doi: 10.1177/1744987120927206.

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Background: Purposive sampling has a long developmental history and there are as many viewsthat it is simple and straightforward as there are about its complexity. The reason for purposivesampling is the better matching of the sample to the aims and objectives of the research, thusimproving the rigour of the study and trustworthiness of the data and results. Four aspects to thisconcept have previously been described: credibility, transferability, dependability andconfirmability.Aims: The aim of this paper is to outline the nature and intent of purposive sampling, presentingthree different case studies as examples of its application in different contexts.Results: Presenting individual case studies has highlighted how purposive sampling can beintegrated into varying contexts dependent on study design. The sampling strategies clearlysituate each study in terms of trustworthiness for data collection and analysis. The selectedapproach to purposive sampling used in each case aligns to the research methodology, aimsand objectives, thus addressing each of the aspects of rigour.Conclusions: Making explicit the approach used for participant sampling provides improvedmethodological rigour as judged by the four aspects of trustworthiness. The cases presentedprovide a guide for novice researchers of how rigour may be addressed in qualitative research.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Campbell, S and Greenwood, M and Prior, S and Shearer, T and Walkem, K and Young, SM and Bywaters, D and Walker, K
Keywords: research, case studies, interview research, novice nurse researchers, purposive sampling, study design, trustworthiness
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Research in Nursing
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN: 1744-9871
DOI / ID Number: 10.1177/1744987120927206
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 The Authors

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