Transforming verbal counts in reports of qualitative descriptive studies into numbers.
Reports of qualitative studies typically do not offer much information on the numbers of respondents linked to any one finding. This information may be especially useful in reports of basic, or minimally interpretive, qualitative descriptive studies focused on surveying a range of experiences in a target domain, and its lack may limit the ability to synthesize the results of such studies with quantitative results in systematic reviews. Accordingly, the authors illustrate strategies for deriving plausible ranges of respondents expressing a finding in a set of reports of basic qualitative descriptive studies on antiretroviral adherence and suggest how the results might be used. These strategies have limitations and are never appropriate for use with findings from interpretive qualitative studies. Yet they offer a temporary workaround for preserving and maximizing the value of information from basic qualitative descriptive studies for systematic reviews. They show also why quantitizing is never simply quantitative.
Chang, Y; Voils, CI; Sandelowski, M; Hasselblad, V; Crandell, JL
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