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Res Nurs Health. 2000 Aug;23(4):334-40.

Whatever happened to qualitative description?

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, #7640, Carrington Hall, School of Nursing, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


The general view of descriptive research as a lower level form of inquiry has influenced some researchers conducting qualitative research to claim methods they are really not using and not to claim the method they are using: namely, qualitative description. Qualitative descriptive studies have as their goal a comprehensive summary of events in the everyday terms of those events. Researchers conducting qualitative descriptive studies stay close to their data and to the surface of words and events. Qualitative descriptive designs typically are an eclectic but reasonable combination of sampling, and data collection, analysis, and re-presentation techniques. Qualitative descriptive study is the method of choice when straight descriptions of phenomena are desired.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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