Classifying the findings in qualitative studies

Margarete Sandelowski, Julie Barroso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

401 Scopus citations


A key task in conducting research integration studies is determining what features to account for in the research reports eligible for inclusion. In the course of a methodological project, the authors found a remarkable uniformity in the way findings were produced and presented, no matter what the stated or implied frame of reference or method. They describe a typology of findings, which they developed to bypass the discrepancy between method claims and the actual use of methods, and efforts to ascertain its utility and reliability. The authors propose that the findings in journal reports of qualitative studies in the health domain can be classified on a continuum of data transformation as no finding, topical survey, thematic survey, conceptual/thematic description, or interpretive explanation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)905-923
Number of pages19
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2003


  • Qualitative findings
  • Qualitative metasynthesis
  • Quality criteria
  • Typology of findings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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