Theoretical versus pragmatic design in qualitative research
Issues in research Previous     Next

Theoretical versus pragmatic design in qualitative research

Joanna Smith Lecturer in children and young people’s nursing, School of Nursing & Midwifery, University of Salford, UK
Hilary Bekker Senior lecturer in behavioural sciences, Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds, UK
Francine Cheater Director, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

For many years, discussions of the relative merits of generic and theoretical approaches to qualitative research have divided researchers while overshadowing the need to focus on addressing clinical questions. Drawing on the challenges of designing a study that explored parents’ experiences of living with children with hydrocephalus, the authors of this paper argue that over-adherence to, and deliberations about, the philosophical origins of qualitative methods is undermining the contributions qualitative research could make to evidence-based health care and suggest qualitative methods should stand alone.

Nurse Researcher. 18, 2, 39-51. doi: 10.7748/nr2011.

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now