Qualitative research methods: Key features and insights gained from use in infection prevention research

Jane Forman, John W. Creswell, Laura Damschroder, Christine P. Kowalski, Sarah L. Krein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Infection control professionals and hospital epidemiologists are accustomed to using quantitative research. Although quantitative studies are extremely important in the field of infection control and prevention, often they cannot help us explain why certain factors affect the use of infection control practices and identify the underlying mechanisms through which they do so. Qualitative research methods, which use open-ended techniques, such as interviews, to collect data and nonstatistical techniques to analyze it, provide detailed, diverse insights of individuals, useful quotes that bring a realism to applied research, and information about how different health care settings operate. Qualitative research can illuminate the processes underlying statistical correlations, inform the development of interventions, and show how interventions work to produce observed outcomes. This article describes the key features of qualitative research and the advantages that such features add to existing quantitative research approaches in the study of infection control. We address the goal of qualitative research, the nature of the research process, sampling, data collection and analysis, validity, generalizability of findings, and presentation of findings. Health services researchers are increasingly using qualitative methods to address practical problems by uncovering interacting influences in complex health care environments. Qualitative research methods, applied with expertise and rigor, can contribute important insights to infection prevention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-771
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Volume36
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

Fingerprint

Qualitative Research
Infection Control
Infection
Research
Delivery of Health Care
Health Services
Research Personnel
Interviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Qualitative research methods : Key features and insights gained from use in infection prevention research. / Forman, Jane; Creswell, John W.; Damschroder, Laura; Kowalski, Christine P.; Krein, Sarah L.

In: American Journal of Infection Control, Vol. 36, No. 10, 01.12.2008, p. 764-771.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Forman, Jane ; Creswell, John W. ; Damschroder, Laura ; Kowalski, Christine P. ; Krein, Sarah L. / Qualitative research methods : Key features and insights gained from use in infection prevention research. In: American Journal of Infection Control. 2008 ; Vol. 36, No. 10. pp. 764-771.
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