Background Philosophical principles should guide how research is designed, conducted and appraised. The more traditional and commonly used approaches to positivist (validity and generalisability) or interpretivist (trustworthiness) research do not necessarily complement the philosophical principles of post-positivist critical realism.
Aims To discuss an approach to ensuring scientific rigour in post-positivist critical realist research using an enhanced version of the quality assurance model, TAPUPAS, that has an additional criterion: modified objectivity.
Discussion The authors present examples of the quality framework TAPUPASM in the planning, design, conduct and dissemination of a realist research study. These strategies include choices about the collection and analysis of data, as well as how to disseminate findings using methods other than traditional academic approaches. They also provide a practical example of how they used TAPUPASM to ensure rigour in a critical realist ethnographic study in pre-registration nurse education.
Conclusion TAPUPASM provides a framework for quality in post-positivist critical realist research.
Implications for practice Nurse researchers can use the strategies provided to plan, design, conduct and disseminate critical realist research.
Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2019.e1590Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated softwareCorrespondence
Ryan G, Rutty J (2019) Philosophy and quality? TAPUPASM as an approach to rigour in critical realist research. Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2019.e1590
Published online: 17 January 2019
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