Qualitative methods in medical research
What we do
Knowledge consists of more than what can be measured and counted. Within the medical research culture, there is an increasing interest regarding methodological diversity.
Qualitative research methods can contribute to new understanding of how human beings experience illness, health and encounters with the health care system. In this methodological tradition, text, interpretation and meaning are important values. Hence, other strategies and procedures for management and analysis of textual data are different from research based on numbers and statistics.
Still, the basic prinsiples for scientific quality are not radically different for qualitative methods compared to quantitative methods. The way we manage data collection and analysis determines whether the research is excellent or weak. Reflexivity is an important criterion for scientific quality of qualitative studies.
Researchers at the Research Unit for General Practice in Bergen (AFE Bergen) have for decades presented a important theoretical, methodological and empirical contributions within qualitative studies and represent an internationally strong and acknowledged research environment in this regard. Kirsti Malterud plays an important role within this group of researchers, for example as the author of an introductory book about qualitative research methods (4th edition 2017) and textbooks about focus group studies (2012) and qualitative metasynthesis (2017). These books are written in Norwegian.