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Keywords:

  • qualitative data;
  • qualitative findings;
  • qualitative metasynthesis;
  • qualitative research;
  • qualitative studies;
  • reflexivity;
  • representation;
  • research integration

Purpose: To describe the challenges of finding the findings in qualitative studies.

Method: Review of literature on representation in qualitative research and analysis of 99 reports of qualitative studies of women with HIV infection.

Findings: Factors complicating finding the findings in qualitative studies include varied reporting styles, misrepresentation of data and analytic procedures as findings, misuse of quotes and theory, and lack of clarity concerning pattern and theme. Theses and dissertations present special challenges because they often contain several of these problems.

Conclusions: Given the varied beliefs about findings among qualitative researchers, the challenge is to find ways to present findings that will make them discernible to the diverse audiences for whom they are intended, including researchers and practitioners.