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Qual Health Res. 1998 Jul;8(4):547-55.

Ethical and representational issues in qualitative secondary analysis.

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  • 1University of British Columbia School of Nursing, Vancouver, Canada.


Although secondary analysis holds considerable promise for optimizing the health knowledge that can be constructed in relation to existing qualitative databases, methodological developments to guide design and evaluation of this research have not been fully explored in the qualitative research literature. This article extends preliminary methodological explorations to address two specific concerns arising from secondary analysis: ethics and representation. Because secondary research creates the potential for exaggerating certain errors in both ethics and representation, the risks associated with such analyses must be considered in the light of the opportunities. Preliminary strategies for helping secondary qualitative researchers to articulate and resolve the representational and ethical problems that may arise from their work are offered.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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