Navigating the grounded theory terrain. Part 2
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Navigating the grounded theory terrain. Part 2

Andrew Hunter Lecturer, Mental health nursing at the school of nursing and midwifery, National University of Ireland, Galway
Kathy Murphy Head of school, School of nursing and midwifery, National University of Ireland, Galway
Annmarie Grealish Lecturer, Mental health at the school of nursing and midwifery, University of Salford, UK
Dympna Casey Senior lecturer, School of nursing and midwifery, National University of Ireland, Galway
John Keady Professor, Older people’s mental health nursing at the school of nursing, midwifery and social work, University of Manchester, UK

Aim In this paper, the choice of classic grounded theory will be discussed and justified in the context of the first author’s PhD research.

Background The methodological discussion takes place within the context of PhD research entitled: Development of a stakeholder-led framework for a structured education programme that will prepare nurses and healthcare assistants to deliver a psychosocial intervention for people with dementia. There is a lack of research and limited understanding of the effect of psychosocial interventions on people with dementia. The first author thought classic grounded theory a suitable research methodology to investigate as it is held to be ideal for areas of research where there is little understanding of the social processes at work.

Data sources The literature relating to the practical application of classic grounded theory is illustrated using examples relating to four key grounded theory components:

Theory development: using constant comparison and memoing.

Methodological rigour.

Emergence of a core category.

Inclusion of self and engagement with participants.

Discussion Following discussion of the choice and application of classic grounded theory, this paper explores the need for researchers to visit and understand the various grounded theory options.

Conclusion This paper argues that researchers new to grounded theory must be familiar with and understand the various options. The researchers will then be able to apply the methodologies they choose consistently and critically. Doing so will allow them to develop theory rigorously and they will ultimately be able to better defend their final methodological destinations.

Nurse Researcher. 19, 1, 6-11. doi: 10.7748/nr2011.

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Accepted: 01 December 2010

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