Qualitative research is a focused and deliberate approach to understanding the human condition and can identify areas that warrant further investigation through hypothesis-testing (quantitative) research. In this overview article, we discuss reasons to undertake a qualitative study; introduce three research paradigms whose frameworks are commonly used by medical education researchers (grounded theory, ethnography, phenomenology); describe the four most commonly used data gathering techniques (interviews, focus groups, observation, document tracing); and discuss the nature of the sampling/data gathering process. Examples of research questions that employ each paradigm and data gathering technique as well as a list of published sample articles to guide researchers are provided.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine