Jamie, K. and Rathbone, A. P. (2021) 'Using theory and reflexivity to preserve methodological rigour of data collection in qualitative research.', Research Methods in Medicine & Health Sciences .
This paper examines the place of theory in qualitative medical research. While theory’s place in research planning and data analysis has been well-established, the contribution of theory during qualitative data collection tends to be overlooked. Yet, data collection is not an asocial or apolitical process and requires reflection and analysis in and of itself. Therefore, drawing on an exemplar case study research project which focused on patients’ use of medicines, the paper argues that engaging with theory to think reflexively, throughout a project but particularly during the process of data collection can ensure the rigour and trustworthiness of qualitative data. In this case study, we draw on sociologist Erving Goffman’s theoretical framework of the dramaturgical metaphor to address the multiplicity of roles that healthcare practitioners undertaking qualitative research have to occupy and navigate. Rather than painting researchers out of their research through a naïve search for ‘objectivity’, reflexivity that is scaffolded by theory, offers a way through which researchers’ biases and subjectivities can be made explicit and their data analysis transparent. In making this argument, we encourage medical researchers to engage with, and be attuned to, theoretical perspectives outwith their own discipline.
|Full text:||(AM) Accepted Manuscript|
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|Publisher Web site:||https://journals.sagepub.com/home/rmm|
|Publisher statement:||Jamie, K. and Rathbone, A. P., Using theory and reflexivity to preserve methodological rigour of data collection in qualitative research, Research Methods in Medicine & Health Sciences, Copyright © 2021 (The Authors).|
|Date accepted:||15 April 2021|
|Date deposited:||15 April 2021|
|Date of first online publication:||2021|
|Date first made open access:||15 April 2021|
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