Assessing quality in qualitative studies

Last time we looked at evaluating quality in quantitative studies. This time the focus is on qualitative studies. Guides to assessing the quality of qualitative studies are available on the internet and via AI. The appropriacy of these for our particular needs is what I look at briefly this time.

Leanne Kmet, Robert Lee and Linda Cook (2004) offer a rather comprehensive guide for both.  Page 5 has the checklist for qualitative studies. As quality withstands the test of time, this guide cannot be considered “out of date” now. They use a checklist of following points which they suggest you can score by either yes, partial, or no:

1 Is the question / objective sufficiently described?

2 Is the study design evident and appropriate?

3 Is the context for the study clear?

4 Is there a connection to a theoretical framework / wider body of knowledge?

5 Is the sampling strategy described, relevant and justified?

6 Are data collection methods clearly described?

7 Is the data analysis clearly described and systematic?

8 Is a verification procedure used to establish credibility?

9 Are conclusions supported by the results?

10 Is there reflexivity in the account?

As we saw in the last blog post, we could add to this by including a point on the ethical concerns for research involving humans (if humans are involved), the peer review process undertaken, the contribution of the research to the field, its limitations, and recommendations for further research. It is helpful to think beyond what the author states about this contribution as authors are encouraged to see this as an opportunity to promote the research and might exaggerate a little.