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© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The issue of ‘quality’ in qualitative research is part of a much larger and contested debate about the nature of the knowledge produced by qualitative research, whether its quality can legitimately be judged according to a single set of general principles and, if so, how. In the field of qualitative research, concern to be able to assess quality has manifested itself in the proliferation of guidelines for doing and judging qualitative work, particularly in the health field. This chapter outlines two views of how qualitative methods might be judged. It then argues that qualitative research can be assessed with reference to the same broad criteria of quality as quantitative research, albeit the meaning attributed to these criteria may not be exactly the same and they may be assessed differently. The chapter concludes with a list of questions that can be used as a guide to assessing the quality of a piece of qualitative research.

Original publication





Book title

Qualitative Research in Health Care

Publication Date



211 - 233