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VOLUME 6 , ISSUE 1 ( January-April, 2019 ) > List of Articles


Theoretical Approaches to Qualitative Research

Uttam K Paul, Arup Bandyopadhyay

Keywords : Descriptive design, Interpretive design, Qualitative research

Citation Information : Paul U K, Bandyopadhyay A. Theoretical Approaches to Qualitative Research. Bengal Physician Journal 2019; 6 (1):12-14.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10100-6103

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-12-2019

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2019; The Author(s).


Background: Qualitative research is a comparatively new approach to research, and more so in the field of medical science in particular. There is a common myth that this type of research is not very scientifically approved or reliable. Also, it is particularly applicable in the field of social sciences, and not so much in a pure scientific arena, particularly, one like medical science. This article is written, therefore, to elaborate on the scientific background and the theoretical approaches to qualitative research. Descriptive design: Descriptive or exploratory design is a very commonly used approach to research, in which the researcher simply wants to explore or identify what is going on in a given situation. The team members have to devise an interview schedule that has several short open-ended questions to focus on their inquiry. Interpretive design: The three most common approaches to interpretive design are ethnography, phenomenology, and grounded theory. All three are now used in health and social care research. These three approaches to research use inductive reasoning. However, the particular perspective from which they seek to do this will vary according to orientation. Ethnography: It is an approach to research influenced by the anthropological tradition, in which the researcher seeks to understand human behavior from the perspective of the individual in a given culture. Phenomenology is an approach to research that emphasizes and seeks to explore the real-life experience of an individual. Grounded theory: It is an approach to research in which the aim is to collect and analyze qualitative data in order to develop a theory that is “grounded” in the data. Grounded theory is rather different from the other approaches of qualitative research because it uses both inductive and deductive reasoning. Conclusion: In conclusion, it can be said that qualitative research is a highly scientific method of research involving modern and acceptable statistical analysis and inference also, and the results that we get can be applied beneficially to further researches, generation of treatment, diagnostic and public health strategies and most importantly framing new social, scientific and governance policies.

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