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Nurse Res. 2004;12(1):7-19.

Sampling issues in qualitative research.

Author information

  • CARER Department, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield, UK.


While qualitative methodologies have increased in popularity over the past few decades, they have been criticised because of a lack of transparency in procedures and processes. While much of this criticism has been levied at analytical steps, many published qualitative studies give little information about the characteristics of the study sample or the type of sample employed or techniques used. In this paper, Gina Higginbottom aims to provide an overview of the complexity of sampling in qualitative research, and to provoke reflection and consideration of qualitative methodologies. It is hoped that this will encourage nurse researchers to seek out the primary texts and gain greater insight into the various philosophical underpinnings and sampling techniques in qualitative research.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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