Qualitative Research Methods

Author(s):
Stephanie Stroever, PhD, MPH Associate Director of Research and Innovation, Surgery

Nuvance Health

Department of Research and Innovation

Danbury, CT

Published:
October 3, 2014
Revised:
September 8, 2020
Declarations of Conflicts of Interest:
  • Stephanie Stroever reports no potential conflicts of interest.

Abstract

Historically, quantitative methods have dominated the field of inquiry and research as infection preventionists sought to understand infection events and prevention practices. However, qualitative methods have emerged as a valuable approach to fully understand the culture and context of infection prevention and control within healthcare settings. Qualitative methods focus on answering questions such as “why” or “how” an event occurred. There are many different qualitative approaches that may be used by infection preventionists, each with unique methods for data collection and analysis. Ultimately, qualitative inquiry can result in rich data that can supplement and enhance understanding of infection prevention within healthcare facilities.