A Quality Approach to Qualitative Content Analysis: Similarities and Differences Compared to Other Qualitative Methods


  • Margaret R. Roller




qualitative content analysis, qualitative research, qualitative methods, quality criteria, total quality framework


Qualitative content analysis is a method that shares many of the unique attributes associated with all qualitative research methods. These shared attributes extend to a key consideration in all qualitative research designs, i.e., the integration of quality concepts at each step of the research process. In this article I discuss one such approach, the total quality framework. With this framework at hand, researchers can think about quality in qualitative research regardless of the qualitative method, including qualitative content analysis. For example, quality constructs associated with sampling, researcher effects, and data verification in qualitative content analysis are not unlike those in the in-depth interview, focus group, or observation method. There are, however, a few quality considerations distinctive to the qualitative content analysis method, such as the definition of "data" and the necessary thick description associated with the two-phase, eight-step qualitative content analysis process. In this article I discuss the similarities and differences between the qualitative content analysis method and other qualitative methods from a quality perspective; specifically, the total quality framework.


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Author Biography

Margaret R. Roller

Margaret R. ROLLER, M.A. is an independent consultant with more than 35 years in the research profession. Her expertise is in research design with a particular concentration in quality approaches to qualitative research designs. Prior to establishing her consulting firm, Ms. ROLLER held research managerial positions at AT&T, the Los Angeles Times, and Prentice Hall publishing. She has designed and implemented hundreds of qualitative studies, and conducts qualitative workshops and training. She is the lead author of "Applied Qualitative Research Design: A Total Quality Framework Approach" (ROLLER & LAVRAKAS, 2015), and her blog—Research Design Review—has been a resource for the research and academic community since 2009. Ms. ROLLER is an associate editor for Survey Practice and she is on the communications task force for the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology within the American Psychological Association. Her discipline of study is psychology. Her psychology degrees include a B.A. from California State University and graduate degree from the New School for Social Research, Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science.




How to Cite

Roller, M. R. (2019). A Quality Approach to Qualitative Content Analysis: Similarities and Differences Compared to Other Qualitative Methods. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 20(3). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-20.3.3385



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