Qualitative Methods: A Crucial Tool for Understanding Changes in Health Systems and Health Care Delivery

Jan. 21, 2011
Medical Care Research and Review , Published online before print
Peter J. Cunningham, Laurie E. Felland, Paul B. Ginsburg, Hoangmai H. Pham

The article by Bryan Weiner and colleagues (“Use of Qualitative Methods in Published Health Services and Management Research: A Ten-Year Review”) provides a review of the contribution of qualitative research to the knowledge base of health services research and how it has changed over the past 10 years (Weiner, Amick, Lund, Lee, & Hoff, 2011). Although qualitative studies still contribute to a relatively small (and apparently decreasing) share of the total number of articles in the nine major health services research and management journals, it is noteworthy that these articles are cited as frequently as articles using quantitative methods. Clearly there is a role for qualitative research in studies of health systems, but this role is still not well understood or even widely appreciated.

Access to this article is available at the Medical Care Research and Review Web site. (Subscription required.)