• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of bmjBMJ helping doctors make better decisionsSearch bmj.comLatest content
BMJ. Jul 15, 1995; 311(6998): 182–184.
PMCID: PMC2550229

Qualitative research: Observational methods in health care settings.

Abstract

Clinicians used to observing individual patients, and epidemiologists trained to observe the course of disease, may be forgiven for misunderstanding the term observational method as used in qualitative research. In contrast to the clinician or epidemiologist, the qualitative researcher systematically watches people and events to find out about behaviours and interactions in natural settings. Observation, in this sense, epitomises the idea of the researcher as the research instrument. It involves "going into the field"--describing and analysing what has been seen. In health care settings this method has been insightful and illuminating, but it is not without pitfalls for the unprepared researcher.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (936K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Jeffery R. Normal rubbish: deviant patients in casualty departments. Sociol Health Illn. 1979 Jun;1(1):90–107. [PubMed]
  • Hughes D. Paper and people: the work of the casualty reception clerk. Sociol Health Illn. 1989 Dec;11(4):382–408. [PubMed]
  • Mays N, Pope C. Rigour and qualitative research. BMJ. 1995 Jul 8;311(6997):109–112. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from BMJ : British Medical Journal are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...