• qualitative;
  • research;
  • transfusion

Transfusion medicine research has traditionally employed quantitative methods to answer clinical research questions. Increasingly, qualitative research methods are being used in the field to address a wide variety of research questions in areas such as blood donation, transfusion practices and policy development. This article describes the key characteristics, methodologies and methods of qualitative research and draws on examples to show how qualitative research approaches have been applied in the field of transfusion medicine. It is hoped that this overview will inform and encourage the application of qualitative research in the field of transfusion medicine.