The swan song of quantitative eminence: embracing qualitative research in evidence based health care

Qualitative research can be used to provide rich, nuanced understandings of complex phenomena in health care. Using a range of naturalistic methods, qualitative researchers aim to uncover and explore factors on individual, group and systemic levels to answer how, what and why questions. Qualitative research can provide insight to improve patient care and outcomes, understand staff experience and to inform policy. It has often been unfairly criticised and marginalised against what are considered ‘gold standard’ quantitative methods. This has led to a lack of understanding about how it can, and should, be used in evidence based health care. This talk will dispel common myths associated with qualitative research as well as demonstrating its value.