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Research Project: Preventing the Development of Childhood Obesity

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: A pragmatic guide to qualitative analysis for pediatric researchers

item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe
item DEATRICK, JANET - University Of Pennsylvania
item KNAFL, KATHLEEN - University Of North Carolina
item SWALLOW, VERONICA - Sheffield Hallam University
item WU, YELENA - University Of Utah

Submitted to: Journal of Pediatric Psychology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/5/2022
Publication Date: 5/13/2022
Citation: Thompson, D.J., Deatrick, J.A., Knafl, K.A., Swallow, V.M., Wu, Y.P. 2022. A pragmatic guide to qualitative analysis for pediatric researchers. Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

Interpretive Summary: Qualitative research offers a method for ensuring an intervention reflects the needs, interests, and expectations of a particular audience and to understanding how an intervention impacted someone's life. Unfortunately, qualitative analytic methods may not be included as a part of training programs for those investigators who conduct qualitative research. This paper presented four methods for analyzing qualitative research from a pragmatic perspective. Ensuring qualitative data are analyzed in a manner consistent with accepted qualitative analytic techniques will help produce quality, actionable findings that can inform important aspects of research.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this paper is to describe four approaches to qualitative analysis in order to provide a pragmatic, application-oriented guide to their use in research focused on children and their families. Four commonly used approaches to qualitative analysis—framework analysis, rapid qualitative analysis, content analysis, and reflexive thematic analysis—are described and compared, including their analytic strategies, tips for use, terminology, and application to a hypothetical example. A pragmatic guide to each method is provided as well as examples of how each analytic approach could be utilized to analyze the same dataset. A variety of approaches to qualitative analysis are available to both novice and experienced qualitative researchers. The approach selected from the options presented in this article will depend on numerous factors, such as the clinical problem being explored, research context, aims, objectives, research questions, and resources available such as time and funds, and the qualitative expertise of the team.