Questioning the use value of qualitative research findings

Lipscomb, M. (2012) Questioning the use value of qualitative research findings. Nursing Philosophy, 13 (2). pp. 112-125. ISSN 1466-769X Available from:

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In this paper the use value of qualitative research findings to nurses in practice is questioned. More precisely it is argued that, insofar as action follows belief then, in all but the rarest of cases, the beliefs that nurses in practice can justifiably derive from or form on the basis of qualitative research findings do not sanction action in the world and the assumption, apparently widely held, that qualitative research can as evidence productively inform practice collapses. If qualitative research does not have a substantive action guiding potential then, in consequence, three conclusions are permitted. First, regarding the requirement that nurses ground actions on evidence, regulators should redraft methodologically neutral or permissive guidelines to specify the sorts of research evidence that can serve this function. Second, qualitative methodologies should receive less prominence in nurse education programmes. Third, qualitative researchers should make it clear that their work cannot inform practice. Alternatively, if this claim is advanced the process by which this is to be achieved should be explicitly stated.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:applied research, nursing research, qualitative research
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences > Department of Nursing and Midwifery
Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences
ID Code:16162
Deposited By: Dr M. Lipscomb
Deposited On:07 Dec 2011 16:03
Last Modified:03 Apr 2016 14:47

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