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© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Qualitative analysis seeks to develop analytic categories to describe and explain social phenomena. These categories may be derived inductively - that is, obtained gradually from the data themselves - or generated deductively from prior questions or hypotheses, either at the beginning or at intervals during the analysis. There are four broad approaches to qualitative analysis: thematic analysis; grounded theory; interpretive phenomenological analysis; and the ‘framework’ approach. This chapter describes these four broad approaches that are used in health related research. Sometimes techniques from different analytical approaches are combined to understand the data better. The use of specialist computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) packages has become much more common in qualitative research. CAQDAS packages offer functions that enable far more complex organisation, annotation, data linkage, and retrieval of data than are possible in standard word processing packages.

Original publication





Book title

Qualitative Research in Health Care

Publication Date



111 - 133