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Reader's Guide

Types of Material in Document Analysis Qualitative Research
An Introduction to Document Analysis
Reader's Guide

Larkin and others 10 discussed the importance of not just providing a description of what participants say. Rather, interpretative phenomenological analysis is about getting underneath what a person is saying to try to truly understand the world from his or her perspective.

Once all of the research interviews have been transcribed and checked, it is time to begin coding. Field notes compiled during an interview can be a useful complementary source of information to facilitate this process, as the gap in time between an interview, transcribing, and coding can result in memory bias regarding nonverbal or environmental context issues that may affect interpretation of data. Coding can be done by hand on a hard copy of the transcript, by making notes in the margin or by highlighting and naming sections of text.

More commonly, researchers use qualitative research software e. It is advised that researchers undertake a formal course in the use of such software or seek supervision from a researcher experienced in these tools. If we read a little more deeply, we can ask ourselves how the participant might have come to feel that the doctor assumed he or she was aware of the diagnosis or indeed that they had only just been told the diagnosis.

There are a number of pauses in the narrative that might suggest the participant is finding it difficult to recall that experience. At the end of this excerpt, the participant just trails off, recalling that no-one showed any interest, which makes for very moving reading.

There are no statistical tests that can be used to check reliability and validity as there are in quantitative research. This simple act can result in revisions to the codes and can help to clarify and confirm the research findings. Theming refers to the drawing together of codes from one or more transcripts to present the findings of qualitative research in a coherent and meaningful way. Thus, when the findings are organized for presentation, each theme can become the heading of a section in the report or presentation.

Implications for real life e. This synthesis is the aim of the final stage of qualitative research. There are a number of ways in which researchers can synthesize and present their findings, but any conclusions drawn by the researchers must be supported by direct quotations from the participants. The work of Latif and others 12 gives an example of how qualitative research findings might be presented.

As has been suggested above, if researchers code and theme their material appropriately, they will naturally find the headings for sections of their report.

The final presentation of the research will usually be in the form of a report or a paper and so should follow accepted academic guidelines. In particular, the article should begin with an introduction, including a literature review and rationale for the research. There should be a section on the chosen methodology and a brief discussion about why qualitative methodology was most appropriate for the study question and why one particular methodology e. The method itself should then be described, including ethics approval, choice of participants, mode of recruitment, and method of data collection e.

The findings should be written as if a story is being told; as such, it is not necessary to have a lengthy discussion section at the end. As stated earlier, it is not the intention of qualitative research to allow the findings to be generalized, and therefore this is not, in itself, a limitation.

Planning out the way that findings are to be presented is helpful. It is useful to insert the headings of the sections the themes and then make a note of the codes that exemplify the thoughts and feelings of your participants. It is generally advisable to put in the quotations that you want to use for each theme, using each quotation only once. After all this is done, the telling of the story can begin as you give your voice to the experiences of the participants, writing around their quotations.

Finally, as appropriate, it is possible to include examples from literature or policy documents that add support for your findings. It can be used in pharmacy practice research to explore how patients feel about their health and their treatment.

An understanding of these issues can help pharmacists and other health care professionals to tailor health care to match the individual needs of patients and to develop a concordant relationship.

Doing qualitative research is not easy and may require a complete rethink of how research is conducted, particularly for researchers who are more familiar with quantitative approaches. There are many ways of conducting qualitative research, and this paper has covered some of the practical issues regarding data collection, analysis, and management. The participant age late 50s had suffered from a chronic mental health illness for 30 years. As the participant talked about past experiences, the researcher asked:.

The planned 2-year series is intended to appeal to relatively inexperienced researchers, with the goal of building research capacity among practising pharmacists.

The articles, presenting simple but rigorous guidance to encourage and support novice researchers, are being solicited from authors with appropriate expertise. Can J Hosp Pharm. Ethical issues in pharmacy practice research: Designing pharmacy practice research trials. An introduction to developing surveys for pharmacy practice research. An introduction to the fundamentals of cohort and case—control studies.

Austin Z, Sutton J. C an J Hosp Pharm. An introduction to the fundamentals of randomized controlled trials in pharmacy research. What do you need to know to get started? National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Copyright Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists. In submitting their manuscripts, the authors transfer, assign, and otherwise convey all copyright ownership to CSHP.

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Interpretation of Data Interpretation of the data will depend on the theoretical standpoint taken by researchers.

Transcribing and Checking For the purposes of this paper it is assumed that interviews or focus groups have been audio-recorded. Coding Once all of the research interviews have been transcribed and checked, it is time to begin coding.

Theming Theming refers to the drawing together of codes from one or more transcripts to present the findings of qualitative research in a coherent and meaningful way. Planning and Writing the Report As has been suggested above, if researchers code and theme their material appropriately, they will naturally find the headings for sections of their report.

Excerpt from a sample transcript The participant age late 50s had suffered from a chronic mental health illness for 30 years. As the participant talked about past experiences, the researcher asked: What was treatment like 30 years ago? Umm—well it was pretty much they could do what they wanted with you because I was put into the er, the er kind of system er, I was just on. He had a book this thick [gestures] and on each page it was like three questions and he went through.

Previous articles in this series: Austin ZA, Sutton J. Hammersley M, Atkinson P. Taylor and Francis; What is grounded theory? Grounded Theory Institute; The A—Z of social research. Strauss AL, Corbin J. Basics of qualitative research: Doing interpretative phenomenological analysis. Murray M, Chamberlain K, editors. Discordant indigenous and provider frames explain challenges in improving access to arthritis care: Int J Equity Health.

A short introduction to transcribing with ELAN. University of Pennsylvania Linguistics Lab; Beyond the divide between cognition and discourse: Also, combining qualitative and quantitative sometimes included in document analysis called mixed-methods studies.

Before actual document analysis takes place, the researcher must go through a detailed planning process in order to ensure reliable results. There is the question of how many documents the researcher should gather. Bowen suggests that a wide array of documents is better, although the question should be more about quality of the document rather than quantity Bowen, The first is the issue of bias, both in the author or creator of the document, and the researcher as well The researcher must consider the subjectivity of the author and also the personal biases he or she may be bringing to the research.

Bowen adds that the researcher must evaluate the original purpose of the document, such as the target audience He or she should also consider whether the author was a firsthand witness or used secondhand sources. Latent content refers to the style, tone, agenda, facts or opinions that exist in the document.

Bowen adds that documents should be assessed for their completeness; in other words, how selective or comprehensive their data is One is the interview technique. Essentially, the researcher determines what is being searched for, then documents and organizes the frequency and amount of occurrences within the document. Bowen notes that some experts object to this kind of analysis, saying that it obscures the interpretive process in the case of interview transcriptions Bowen, However, Bowen reminds us that documents include a wide variety of types, and content analysis can be very useful for painting a broad, overall picture This analysis takes emerging themes and makes them into categories used for further analysis, making it a useful practice for grounded theory.

It includes careful, focused reading and re-reading of data, as well as coding and category construction Bowen, It is not just a process of lining up a collection of excerpts that convey whatever the researcher desires.

The researcher must maintain a high level of objectivity and sensitivity in order for the document analysis results to be credible and valid Bowen, There are many reasons why researchers choose to use document analysis.

Firstly, document analysis is an efficient and effective way of gathering data because documents are manageable and practical resources. Documents are commonplace and come in a variety of forms, making documents a very accessible and reliable source of data. Obtaining and analysing documents is often far more cost efficient and time efficient than conducting your own research or experiments Bowen, Document analysis is often used because of the many different ways it can support and strengthen research.

Document analysis can be used in many different fields of research, as either a primary method of data collection or as a compliment to other methods. Documents can provide supplementary research data, making document analysis a useful and beneficial method for most research. Documents can also contain data that no longer can be observed, provide details that informants have forgotten, and can track change and development.

Document analysis can also point to questions that need to be asked or to situations that need to be observed, making the use of document analysis a way to ensure your research is critical and comprehensive Bowen, The disadvantages of using document analysis are not so much limitations as they are potential concerns to be aware of before choosing the method or when using it.

An initial concern to consider is that documents are not created with data research agendas and therefore require some investigative skills. A document will not perfectly provide all of the necessary information required to answer your research questions. Some documents may only provide a small amount of useful data or sometimes none at all. Other documents may be incomplete, or their data may be inaccurate or inconsistent. Sometimes there are gaps or sparseness of documents, leading to more searching or reliance on additional documents then planned Bowen, Also, some documents may not be available or easily accessible.

For these reasons, it is important to evaluate the quality of your documents and to be prepared to encounter some challenges or gaps when employing document analysis. Another concern to be aware of before beginning document analysis, and to keep in mind during, is the potential presence of biases, both in a document and from the researcher.

As long as a researcher begins document analysis knowing what the method entails and has a clear process planned, the advantages of document analysis are likely to far outweigh the amount of issues that may arise. Document analysis as a qualitative research method. Qualitative Research Journal, 9 2 ,

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Document analysis is a form of qualitative research in which documents are interpreted by the researcher to give voice and meaning around an assessment topic (Bowen, ). Analyzing documents incorporates coding content into themes similar to how focus group or .

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This article examines the function of documents as a data source in qualitative research and discusses document analysis procedure in the context of actual research experiences. Targeted to research novices, the article takes a nuts‐and‐bolts approach to document analysis. It describes the nature and forms of documents, outlines the advantages and limitations of document analysis, and.

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This article examines the function of documents as a data source in qualitative research and discusses document analysis procedure in the context of actual research experiences. Targeted to research novices, the article takes a nuts-and-bolts. Document Analysis as a Qualitative Research Method Glenn A. Bowen WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY ABSTRACT This article examines the function of documents as a data source in qualitative research and discusses.

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This article examines the function of documents as a data source in qualitative research and discusses document analysis procedure in the context of actual research experiences. Document Analysis as a Qualitative Research Method Glenn A. Bowen WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY ABSTRACT This article examines the function of documents as a data source in qualitative research and.