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Man Ther. 2012 Oct;17(5):378-84. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2012.03.004. Epub 2012 Apr 3.

Ready for a paradigm shift? Part 2: introducing qualitative research methodologies and methods.

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Clinical Research Centre for Health Professions, School of Health Professions, University of Brighton, Aldro Building, 49 Darley Road, Eastbourne BN20 7UR, United Kingdom.


This paper explores a number of commonly used methodologies and methods in qualitative research, namely grounded theory, case study, phenomenology, ethnography and narrative research. For each methodology a brief history of its development and variants is given, followed by typical methods of data collection and analysis. Examples of manual therapy qualitative research studies are highlighted for each methodology. Data collection methods are then discussed and include individual interviews, focus groups, observation and documentary analysis. A frequently used method of data analysis, thematic analysis, is briefly explained. Finally, the strategies to enhance the quality of qualitative research is explored and compared to those of quantitative research.

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