Overview of qualitative research
Qualitative research methods are a robust tool for chaplaincy research questions. Similar to much of chaplaincy clinical care, qualitative research generally works with written texts, often transcriptions of individual interviews or focus group conversations and seeks to understand the meaning of experience in a study sample. This article describes three common methodologies: ethnography, grounded theory, and phenomenology. Issues to consider relating to the study sample, design, and analysis are discussed. Enhancing the validity of the data, as well reliability and ethical issues in qualitative research are described. Qualitative research is an accessible way for chaplains to contribute new knowledge about the sacred dimension of people’s lived experience.