Qualitative methods in research on healthcare quality
Pope C., Van Royen P., Baker R.
There are no easy solutions to the problem of improving the quality of care. Research has shown how difficult it can be, but has failed to provide reliable and effective ways to change services and professional performance for the better. Much depends on the perspectives of users and the attitudes and behaviours of professionals in the context of their organisations and healthcare teams. Qualitative research offers a variety of methods for identifying what really matters to patients and carers, detecting obstacles to changing performance, and explaining why improvement does or does not occur. The use of such methods in future studies could lead to a better understanding of how to improve quality.