Qualitative research seeks to understand and interpret personal experiences, behaviours, interactions, and social contexts to explain the phenomena of interest, such as the attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives of patients and clinicians; the interpersonal nature of caregiver and patient relationships; the illness experience; or the impact of human suffering (Wong et al, 2004).
Qualitative evidence extracts information useful in clinical decision making when it comes to issues related to whether an activity is feasible, appropriate or meaningful. Meaningfulness relates to the personal experience, opinions, values, thoughts, beliefs and interpretations of clients.
Wong SSL, Wilczynski NL, Haynes RB. Developing optimal search strategies for detecting clinically relevant qualitative studies in Medline. Medinfo 2004;311-314.
IFPRI images by Udita Chatterjee/Landesa
Source: Hoffmann, T. A. et al (2013). Evidence-based practice across the health professions (2nd ed): Chatswood, NSW : Elsevier Australia.