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J Hum Nutr Diet. 2003 Jun;16(3):139-49.

Communicating and judging the quality of qualitative research: the need for a new language.

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  • 1Royal Brompton Hospital, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sydney Street, London, UK. stephanie@fadeg.plus.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Traditionally UK dietitians have tended to take a more quantitative approach to research. Qualitative research which gives an in-depth view of people's experiences and beliefs is also now being used to help answer some important dietetic research questions.

REVIEW:

A review of the limited number of qualitative research papers in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 1990-2002 (nine papers in all), revealed a lack of specific discussion of the quality strategies commonly used in qualitative research. This could indicate a less than robust approach, but might also reflect a different perspective on quality, or simply the difficulties associated with disseminating qualitative research to a profession whose members lack familiarity with the language. The fact that qualitative research seems to be used rarely may also indicate a poor understanding of its role.

PURPOSE OF THIS PAPER:

This paper seeks to clarify the potential role of qualitative research and draws on previously published guidelines for demonstrating quality. It is hoped that this will offer dietitians a framework for carrying out qualitative research and a language for reporting it, as well acting as a stimulus for discussion.

PMID:
12753107
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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