Footnote: Interested readers can consult journals such as Sociology of Health and Illness, Qualitative Health Research and Social Science and Medicine.
Generating best evidence from qualitative research: the role of data analysis
Article first published online: 7 DEC 2007
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume 31, Issue 6, pages 545–550, December 2007
How to Cite
Green, J., Willis, K., Hughes, E., Small, R., Welch, N., Gibbs, L. and Daly, J. (2007), Generating best evidence from qualitative research: the role of data analysis. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 31: 545–550. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.2007.00141.x
- Issue published online: 7 DEC 2007
- Article first published online: 7 DEC 2007
- Submitted: August 2006 Revision requested: February 2007 Accepted: September 2007
- Qualitative research;
- data analysis;
Objective: To outline the importance of the clarity of data analysis in the doing and reporting of interview-based qualitative research.
Approach: We explore the clear links between data analysis and evidence. We argue that transparency in the data analysis process is integral to determining the evidence that is generated. Data analysis must occur concurrently with data collection and comprises an ongoing process of ‘testing the fit’ between the data collected and analysis. We discuss four steps in the process of thematic data analysis: immersion, coding, categorising and generation of themes.
Conclusion: Rigorous and systematic analysis of qualitative data is integral to the production of high-quality research. Studies that give an explicit account of the data analysis process provide insights into how conclusions are reached while studies that explain themes anchored to data and theory produce the strongest evidence.