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Methodology and design

The connection of theory to method is called methodology. It is a combination of ways of thinking and doing that allows researchers to create a “design” or a road map to generate and analyze data. Methodology refers to the overall story of a study, how the researcher designed the study and why, its key elements, as well as the ways in which the study results are linked to the design (Gastaldo, 2015). Commonly in the health sciences, researchers refer exclusively to methods of data generation to describe their studies (e.g., interview study or observational study). This way of describing a study is insufficient because in qualitative research, a variety of designs can create very different uses for methods. For instance, a community-based participatory research project where academic researchers and community researchers interview community members differs considerably from a generic qualitative design conducted by a single researcher who interviews health care professionals.


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