Table 1.

Proposed framework to guide appraisal of qualitative research

Key Constructs (6)DefinitionStrategies to Satisfy CriteriaDescription
CredibilityExtent to which the research offers well-founded, reliable, and sensible explanations on the basis of evidence obtainedAppropriate question guideRelevant to research topic and phrased to encourage open in-depth discussion
Data triangulationMultiple sources of information and methods to produce a more comprehensive set of findings
Researcher triangulationMultiple investigators from different disciplines with required knowledge and research skills to conduct the research
Purposive samplingRecruit participants who can provide diverse and comprehensive information relevant to the research question
Theoretical saturationRecruitment ceases when few or no new themes emerge from data already collected
Thick description of dataStudy context and findings discussed in detail
DependabilityResearch conducted in a logical manner that can be auditedRecording dataAudio or video recording to capture all data. Field notes capture contextual details and nonverbal communication
Verbatim transcriptionVerbal data transcribed verbatim
Computer softwareUsed to assist with storage, coding, and retrieval of data
TransferabilityFit within contexts outside the study situationDetailed description of research contextDetailed description of study setting and participant characteristics
Theoretical contextFindings are positioned within current theoretical or conceptual frameworks
Comparison with other studiesFindings are within the context of other research conducted in different health care settings
ConfirmabilityExtent to which biases, motivations, interests, or perspectives of the inquirer influence interpretationsResearcher triangulationMultiple investigators involved in data analysis, ensuring the coding and analytic framework captures all primary data
Member checkingParticipants provide feedback on preliminary findings that is incorporated into analysis
Inclusion of raw dataSelected quotations or other raw data inserted to illustrate findings or themes provided
Researcher reflexivityResearchers’ recognition of their own biases that may have influenced decisions made during the study