Diversity of the Quality Criteria in Qualitative Research in the Health Sciences: Lessons From a Lexicometric Analysis Composed of 133 Guidelines

Marie Santiago Delefosse, Christine Bruchez, Amaelle Gavin, Sarah Lilian Stephen


A review of health sciences literature shows a substantial increase in qualitative publications. This work incorporates a certain number of research quality guidelines. We present the results of the Alceste® lexicometric analysis, which includes 133 quality grids for qualitative research covering five disciplinary fields of the health sciences: medicine and epidemiology, public health and health education, nursing, health sociology and anthropology, psychiatry and psychology. This analysis helped to cross-check the disciplinary fields with the various objectives assigned to the different criteria in the grids examined. The results obtained with Alceste® show the variability of the objectives sought by the authors of the guidelines. These discrepancies are not directly associated to disciplinary fields, and appear to be more closely linked to different qualitative research conceptualizations within the disciplines, and with essential qualitative research validation criteria. These conceptualizations must be clarified to help users better understand the objectives targeted by the grids, and promote more appreciation for qualitative research in the health sciences.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1502110


qualitative research evaluation; quality criteria; health sciences; lexicometric analysis; Alceste®

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-16.2.2275

Copyright (c) 2015 Marie Santiago Delefosse, Christine Bruchez, Amaelle Gavin, Sarah Lilian Stephen

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