NVivo 8 and consistency in data analysis: reflecting on the use of a qualitative data analysis program
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NVivo 8 and consistency in data analysis: reflecting on the use of a qualitative data analysis program

Michael Bergin Lecturer in nursing, Department of Nursing, School of Health Sciences, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland

Aim Qualitative data analysis is a complex process and demands clear thinking on the part of the analyst. However, a number of deficiencies may obstruct the research analyst during the proces, leading to inconsistencies occurring. This paper is a reflection on the use of a qualitative data analysis program, NVivo 8, and its usefulness in identifying consistency and inconsistency during the coding process.

Background The author was conducting a large-scale study of providers and users of mental health services in Ireland. He used NVivo 8 to store, code and analyse the data and this paper reflects some of his observations during the study.

Discussion The demands placed on the analyst in trying to balance the mechanics of working through a qualitative data analysis program, while simultaneously remaining conscious of the value of all sources are highlighted.

Conclusion NVivo 8 as a qualitative data analysis program is a challenging but valuable means for advancing the robustness of qualitative research.

Implications for practice Pitfalls can be avoided during analysis by running queries as the analyst progresses from tree node to tree node rather than leaving it to a stage whereby data analysis is well advanced.

Nurse Researcher. 18, 3, 6-12. doi: 10.7748/nr2011.

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Accepted: 15 November 2010

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