Using a theory-driven conceptual framework in qualitative health research

  • MacFarlane A
  • O'Reilly-De Brún M
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The role and merits of highly inductive research designs in qualitative health research are well established, and there has been a powerful proliferation of grounded theory method in the field. However, tight qualitative research designs informed by social theory can be useful to sensitize researchers to concepts and processes that they might not necessarily identify through inductive processes. In this article, we provide a reflexive account of our experience of using a theory-driven conceptual framework, the Normalization Process Model, in a qualitative evaluation of general practitioners' uptake of a free, pilot, language interpreting service in the Republic of Ireland. We reflect on our decisions about whether or not to use the Model, and describe our actual use of it to inform research questions, sampling, coding, and data analysis. We conclude with reflections on the added value that the Model and tight design brought to our research.

Author-supplied keywords

  • coding
  • immigrants/migrants
  • qualitative analysis
  • reflexivity
  • research design

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  • Anne MacFarlane

  • Mary O'Reilly-De Brún

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