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Open Access Highly Accessed Correspondence

Using the framework method for the analysis of qualitative data in multi-disciplinary health research

Nicola K Gale1*, Gemma Heath2, Elaine Cameron3, Sabina Rashid4 and Sabi Redwood2

Author Affiliations

1 Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, Park House, 40 Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham B15 2RT, UK

2 School of Health and Population Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK

3 School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK

4 East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, Lister hospital, Coreys Mill Lane, Stevenage SG1 4AB, UK

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BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013, 13:117  doi:10.1186/1471-2288-13-117

Published: 18 September 2013

Abstract

Background

The Framework Method is becoming an increasingly popular approach to the management and analysis of qualitative data in health research. However, there is confusion about its potential application and limitations.

Discussion

The article discusses when it is appropriate to adopt the Framework Method and explains the procedure for using it in multi-disciplinary health research teams, or those that involve clinicians, patients and lay people. The stages of the method are illustrated using examples from a published study.

Summary

Used effectively, with the leadership of an experienced qualitative researcher, the Framework Method is a systematic and flexible approach to analysing qualitative data and is appropriate for use in research teams even where not all members have previous experience of conducting qualitative research.

Keywords:
Qualitative research; Qualitative content analysis; Multi-disciplinary research