Strategies for Communicating Social Science and Humanities Research to Medical Practitioners


  • Justin Gagnon McGill University
  • Maud Mazaniello-Chezol McGill University
  • Joshua Hamzeh McGill University
  • Kathleen Rice McGill University



qualitative health research, communication, medical journals, epistemological paradigm, recommendations, knowledge transfer


Social science and humanities (SSH) researchers face challenges publishing qualitative research in medical journals. Yet, the descriptive, explanatory, experiential and interpretive knowledge generated by qualitative research is integral to the enhancement of health service delivery. Drawing on three examples of studies published in medical and SSH journals, we discuss elements SSH researchers can consider in the presentation of their research to better reach their intended audience. We suggest that SSH researchers resist abandoning the foundational elements of their discipline (i.e., epistemological paradigm, research objectives, study design, research methods, trustworthiness) while being mindful of medical journal editors' and reviewers' preference for practical knowledge that can inform practice change. Depending on what the authors hope to convey to their audience, other aspects pertaining to its presentation may be adapted to be more readily understood by the readership (i.e., structure, writing style, vocabulary, summary tables, interpretation level). We remain optimistic that if we continue to expose medical audiences to high-quality SSH research, they will learn to embrace diverse standards for research and value its other modes of presentation.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Justin Gagnon, McGill University

Justin GAGNON recently completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University and is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Community Health Sciences at Université de Sherbrooke. His interests include epistemology, social science methodology, health information technology implementation, public health policy, and chronic disease surveillance.

Maud Mazaniello-Chezol, McGill University

Maud Mazaniello-Chezol is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University. In her work, she focuses on adolescent and young adult medicine, chronic illnesses, integrated care, mental health, and research methodology.

Joshua Hamzeh, McGill University

Joshua Hamzeh is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University. He is interested in organizational participatory research, partnership evaluation, and questionnaire development and validation.

Kathleen Rice, McGill University

Kathleen Rice is a Ph.D. medical anthropologist and assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University, where she holds the Canada Research Chair in the Medical Anthropology of Primary Care. Her areas of research include rural and remote health, health inequity, critical approaches to health policy, gender issues in healthcare, perinatal care, and chronic pain.




How to Cite

Gagnon, J., Mazaniello-Chezol, M., Hamzeh, J., & Rice, K. (2022). Strategies for Communicating Social Science and Humanities Research to Medical Practitioners. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 23(2).



Single Contributions