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Dancing with data: An example of acquiring theoretical sensitivity in a grounded theory study

Authors

  • Karen J Hoare PhD MSc NP RN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Lecturer/Nurse Practitioner, Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care and School of Nursing, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
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  • Jane Mills PhD MN RN,

    1. Senior Lecturer, Deputy Head of School Cairns Campus, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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  • Karen Francis PhD MEd RN

    1. Head of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia
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Karen J. Hoare, Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care and School of Nursing, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92 019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. Email: k.hoare@auckland.ac.nz

Abstract

Hoare KJ, Mills J, Francis K. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2012; 18: 240–245

Dancing with data: An example of acquiring theoretical sensitivity in a grounded theory study

Glaser suggested that the conceptual route from data collection to a grounded theory is a set of double back steps. The route forward inevitably results in the analyst stepping back. Additionally sidestepping through, leading participants down lines of inquiry and following data threads with other participants, is also characteristic of acquiring theoretical sensitivity, a key concept in grounded theory. Other ways of acquiring theoretical sensitivity comprise: reading the literature, open coding, category building, reflecting in memos followed by doubling back on data collection once further lines of inquiry are opened up. This paper describes how we ‘danced with data’ in pursuit of heightened theoretical sensitivity in a grounded theory study of information use by nurses working in general practice in New Zealand. Providing an example of how analytical tools are employed to theoretically sample emerging concepts.

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