Proposed Criteria for Systematic Evaluation of Qualitative Oncology Research.
Oncology has made significant advances in standardizing how clinical research is conducted and reported. The advancement of such research that improves oncology practice requires an expansion of not only our research questions but also the research methods we deploy to address them. In particular, there is increasing recognition of the value of qualitative research methods to develop more comprehensive understandings of phenomena of interest and to describe and explain underlying motivations and potential causes of specific outcomes. However, qualitative researchers in oncology have lacked guidance to produce and evaluate methodologically rigorous qualitative publications. In this review, we highlight characteristics of high-quality, methodologically rigorous reports of qualitative research, provide criteria for readers and reviewers to appraise such publications critically, and proffer guidance for preparing publications for submission to Journal of Oncology Practice. Namely, the quality of qualitative research in oncology practice is best assessed according to key domains that include fitness of purpose, theoretical framework, methodological rigor, ethical concerns, analytic comprehensives, and the dissemination/application of findings. In particular, determinations of rigor in qualitative research in oncology practice should consider definitions of the appropriateness of qualitative methods for the research objectives against the setting of current literature, use of an appropriate theoretical framework, inclusion of a rigorous and innovative measurement plan, application of appropriate analytic techniques, and clear explanation and dissemination of the research findings.
Hannum, SM; Dy, SM; Smith, KC; Kamal, AH
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