Qualitative research is defined as a method of market research that focuses on obtaining data through open and conversational communication. Due to the time and cost involved, qualitative designs typically do not take samples from large data sets. Field studies differ from other research methods in that the researcher performs the task of selecting topics, decides what questions to ask, and generates interest during the research itself. This contrasts sharply with many “theoretical” and “hypothetical” testing methods. (Lofland and Lofland 1995: 5) In the field of health psychology, qualitative methods are increasingly used in research to understand health and disease and how health and disease are socially constructed in everyday life. [42] [43] Since then, a wide range of qualitative methods have been adopted by health psychologists, including discourse analysis, thematic analysis, narrative analysis, and interpretative phenomenological analysis. In 2015, the journal Health Psychology published a special issue on qualitative research. [44] Ethnographic research is the most in-depth method of observation that studies people in their natural environment. Qualitative research is focused on multimethod, with an interpretative and naturalistic approach to its subject. This means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural environment and try to understand or interpret phenomena in relation to the meanings that humans bring to them. Qualitative research involves the examined use and collection of a variety of empirical documents – case study, personal experience, introspective, life history, interview, observational, historical, interactional and visual texts – that describe routine and problematic moments and meanings in the individual`s life. (Denzin and Lincoln 2005:2) We proposed that quantitative research approach predetermined variables as an ideal type (Small 2008). Variables are epistemically fixed, but can vary in terms of dimensions such as frequency or number.

Age is an example; As a variable, it can take different numbers. In terms of quantitative research, qualitative research does not reduce its material to numbers and variables. When this happens, the process stops, the researcher moves further away from her data, and it is no longer possible to make new distinctions that improve our understanding. We have discussed above the components of our definition in relation to quantitative research. Our conclusion is that in so-called quantitative research there are common and necessary qualitative elements. The current situation, as Hammersley and others note — and not only in terms of ethnography, but also qualitative research in general, and as our empirical study shows — is not only unsatisfactory, but it can even be detrimental to the entire field of qualitative research and does not help the social sciences as a whole. We propose that the lack of clarity in qualitative research is a real problem that needs to be addressed. While this growing centrality [of qualitative research] may lead to speculation that consensual norms have developed, this belief would be misleading. As the methodology became more widely accepted, the protesters raised fundamental questions that together undermined traditional patterns of design and presentation of qualitative research (1995:417). In the convergent parallel design, a qualitative study is conducted in parallel and independently of a quantitative study, and the results of the two studies are compared and combined at the stage of interpreting the results. Using the EVT deployment example above, this could mean setting up a quantitative EVT registry to measure process times and patient outcomes in parallel with conducting the qualitative research described above and then comparing the results. This could be done by assessing, among other things, whether respondents` subjective impressions of patients receiving good care changed Rankin scores during follow-up or whether the observed delays in care are exceptions or the rule for door-to-needle times documented in the registry.

In the explanatory sequential design, a quantitative study is conducted first, followed by a qualitative study to explain the results of the quantitative study. This would be an appropriate design if the registry alone had revealed relevant delays in door-to-needle delays and if the qualitative study had been used to understand where and why they occurred and how they could be improved. In exploratory design, the qualitative study is performed first and its results help inform and construct the quantitative study at the next stage [26]. If the qualitative study on the provision of EVT had shown a high level of dissatisfaction among the employees concerned, the next step could be to set up a quantitative questionnaire to examine employee satisfaction, which results from the qualitative study on which subjects dissatisfaction was expressed. Among other things, the design of the questionnaire would extend the scope of the research to a larger number of respondents from different (types of hospitals), regions, countries or environments and allow subgroup analyses to be performed for different occupational groups. Note that qualitative data can be much more than just words or text. Photos, videos, sound recordings, etc. can be considered qualitative data. The objective of the qualitative sample is that all variants of the objects of observation considered relevant to the study are present in the sample, “consider the subject and its meanings from as many angles as possible” [1, 16, 19, 20, 27] and “ensure a wealth of information [15]. An iterative sampling approach is recommended, where data collection (e.g., five interviews) is followed by data analysis, followed by further data collection to find variants that are missing from the current sample. This process continues until no new (relevant) information can be found and additional sampling becomes unnecessary – so-called saturation [1, 15]. In other words, the collection of qualitative data does not find its assessment criterion a priori, but when the research team determines that saturation has been reached [29, 30].

Persistent problems of “generalizability” and “how many cases do I need” (Small 2009) block progress – in this sense, qualitative approaches are said to differ significantly from quantitative approaches, while some of the former unsuccessfully mimic principles related to the latter (Small 2009). In addition, quantitative researchers sometimes mistakenly criticize the former based on their own quality criteria. Scientists such as Goertz and Mahoney (2012) have successfully focused on different norms and practices that go beyond what they essentially call two distinct cultures: those that work with qualitative or quantitative methods. Instead, like Becker (2017), who recently questioned the usefulness of distinguishing between qualitative and quantitative research, we focus on similarities. There are several specific approaches to analyzing qualitative data. Although these methods share similar processes, they emphasize different concepts. In practice, we focused on the discipline that had a clear discussion about methods, namely sociology. We also conducted an extensive search of the JSTOR database to identify scientific sociology articles published in English between 1998 and 2017, with a focus on defining or explaining qualitative research. We focus specifically on this period because we expected that this more mature period would have given rise to clear discussions about the importance of qualitative research. To find these articles, we combined a number of keywords to search for content and/or title: qualitative (what was included), definition, empirical, research, methodology, studies, fieldwork, interview, and observation. This type of research method is used in a number of fields such as education, social sciences and similar fields. This method can be difficult to use, but it is one of the easiest ways to conduct research, as it involves deep immersion and a thorough understanding of data collection methods and data derivation.