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Author: Helder Rocha Pereira
Date: April 2012
Journal: Nurse Researcher
Issue: Volume 19, Number 3
Keywords: Phenomenological research, rigour, validity, quality, qualitative research, novice researchers’ experience
Aim: This paper is intended to explore conflicts and doubts that novice researchers face when using phenomenological research methods, especially with regard to methodological rigour.
Background: There is an increasing interest in different qualitative approaches. The best way to evaluate the quality of qualitative studies has been debated intensively. The great theoretical and methodological diversity of qualitative approaches suggests that a single set of criteria may not be appropriate for all types of research.
Review methods: This is a methodological paper that discusses a personal experience of addressing rigour in a phenomenological study, supported by literature on the topic.
Discussion: Generic qualitative criteria may not be the most adequate to ensure rigour in phenomenological research. The different poles of discussion about the best way to ensure validity of phenomenological research puzzle novice nurse researchers.
Conclusion: Focusing on integrative validity that addresses experiential and methodological concerns ensures that researchers will respect the philosophical assumptions underlying a method and allows them to recognise study soundness in the findings and the research process.
Implications for research/practice: Phenomenological research must demonstrate methodological congruence and provide meaningful results about lived experiences in a balanced way. Novice researchers need support to understand the articulation between philosophical and methodological foundations that guide the methods they use.
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