Interpretive Description / Edition 1

Interpretive Description / Edition 1

by Sally Thorne

ISBN-10: 1598743309

ISBN-13: 9781598743302

Pub. Date: 09/30/2008

Publisher: Left Coast Press

This book is designed to guide both new and more seasoned researchers through the steps of conceiving, designing, and implementing coherent research capable of generating new insights in clinical settings. Drawing from a variety of theoretical, methodological, and substantive strands, interpretive description provides a bridge between objective neutrality and abject…  See more details below


This book is designed to guide both new and more seasoned researchers through the steps of conceiving, designing, and implementing coherent research capable of generating new insights in clinical settings. Drawing from a variety of theoretical, methodological, and substantive strands, interpretive description provides a bridge between objective neutrality and abject theorizing, producing results that are academically credible, imaginative, and clinically practical. Replete with examples from a host of research settings in health care and other arenas, the volume will be an ideal text for applied research programs. Foreword by Margarete Sandelowski.

Product Details

Left Coast Press
Publication date:
Developing Qualitative Inquiry Series, #2
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Margarete Sandelowski 11 Preface 15 Part I Interpretive Description in Theory
1 Qualitative Research in the Applied Disciplines 23 Theorizing and Application 23 The Nursing Example 25 Methodological Ancestry 26 Ethnography 27 Grounded Theory 28 Phenomenology 29 Departure and Diversification 30 The Genesis of Interpretive Description 33 What Interpretive Description Is and What It Is Not 34
2 Cultivating Questions in the Clinical Field 37 What's the Question? 37 Where Have We Come From? 37 What Constitutes a Qualitative Question? 38 What Constitutes a Disciplinary Question? 40 What's Worth Studying Qualitatively? 42 Generating Questions in Interpretive Description 44 Finding a Researchable Problem 44 Framing a Research Question 45 Clarifying Questions Amenable to Interpretive Description 47 What Is Description? 47 What Is Interpretation? 48 What Is Interpretive Description? 50
3 Scaffolding a Study 53 Conducting a Literature Review 54 Finding Literature 55 The Impact of the Internet 55 Expanding and Refining your Search 56 Sorting and Organizing Literature 57 Interpreting and Writing Up Your Literature Review 60 Options in Writing a Literature Review 60 Orienting the Literature Review to Your Research Problem 61 Concluding the Literature Review 62 Clarifying the Theoretical Forestructure 64 Locating Theoretical Allegiances 64 Locating the Discipline 66 Positioning the Researcher Within the Ideas 69
4 Framing a Study Design 73 Foundational Underpinnings of Interpretive Description 74 Elements of Design 75 Mapping Out the Plan 76 Writing a Study Proposal 76 Obtaining Ethical Approval 76 Selecting Among Design Options 77 Deciding on Data Sources 78 Interviewing 78Participant Observation 80 Focus Groups 81 Documentary and Other Collateral Data Sources 82 Using Multiple Data Sources 86
5 Strategizing a Credible Study 87 Sampling 88 Representation 88 Sampling Approaches 89 Convenience Sampling 89 Purposive Sampling 90 Theoretical Sampling 91 Finding Terminology to Refer to Sample Members 92 Projecting a Sample Size 94 Setting Limits 96 Thinking Through Data Collection and Analysis 98 Building in Credibility Indicators 101 Planning and Adapting 103 Part II Interpretive Description in Process
6 Entering the Field 107 Situating Self Within the Research Role 108 Tracking Reflections 109 Learning Not to Lead 110 Disclosing the Discipline 110 Stepping out of Role 111 Revealing and Concealing 112 Negotiating Informed Consent 113 Finding Your Tongue 115 Constraining Your Influence 116 Situating Self Within the Setting 118 Insiders and Outsiders 118 Navigating Access 119 Watching and Doing 120 Staying Safe 121 Honoring Confidentiality 122
7 Constructing Data 123 The Process of Engaging with Data 123 Options for Data Collection 125 Interviewing 126 Understanding Strengths and Weaknesses 126 Enhancing Quality 129 Focus Groups 131 Understanding Strengths and Weaknesses 131 Enhancing Quality 133 Participant Observation 133 Understanding Strengths and Weaknesses 134 Enhancing Quality 135 Managing the Collection 136 Protecting Data 136 Sorting and Organizing 137 Tracking Constructions 138
8 Making Sense of Data 141 The Work of Data Analysis 141 From Pieces to Patterns 142 The Tradition of Coding 144 Alternatives to Coding 147 From Patterns to Relationships 149 Knowing Your Data 149 Borrowing Technique 151 Documenting Analytic Thinking 153 Data Analysis in Play 154 Avoiding Hazards 155 Premature Closure 156 Misinterpreting Frequency 156 Over-Inscription of Self 157 Approaching the Goal 158 Confirming Your Bases 158 Expanding on Associations 159 Testing Relationships 160 Capitalizing on Outliers 160 Engaging the Critic 161
9 Conceptualizing Findings 163 Transforming Data 163 Envisioning a Conceptual Level 164 Working with Data Conceptually 165 The Cognitive Processes of Data Analysis 165 The Mechanics of Advancing Conceptual Analysis 166 The Art and Science of Conceptualizing 168 The Nature of Concepts 170 Conceptualizing Through Thematic Description 173 Drawing Analysis to Conclusion 176
10 Writing Findings 177 Setting the Stage 177 Judging Your Readiness 177 Deciding on Structure 178 Determining a Writing Style 181 Engaging in the Process 183 Finding Your Writer's Voice 183 Strategizing Examples 185 Making the Audit Trail Accessible 186 Avoiding Predictable Problems 188 Misuse of Metaphor 188 Descriptive or Analytic Excess 189 Conceptual Confusion 189 Part III Interpretive Description in Context
11 Making Sense of Findings 193 Discussing Findings 193 Identifying What's Important 194 Deciding How to Interpret 195 Original Literature 196 New Literature 197 Extending Interpretation 200 Drawing Conclusions 203 Considering Implications 206 Implications for Further Research 206 Implications for Everything Else 208
12 Disseminating Knowledge 209 Professional and Scholarly Communications 209 Publication Options 210 Presentation Formats 212 Knowledge Transfer Projects 214 Public Domain Communications 215 Artistic Renderings 215 Engaging the Media 217 Making Use of Information Technology 218 Community Engagement 218
13 Enhancing Credibility 221 Quality Considerations 222 Evaluation Criteria 223 Epistemological Integrity 223 Representative Credibility 224 Analytic Logic 224 Interpretive Authority 225 Beyond Evaluation 226 Moral Defensibility 226 Disciplinary Relevance 227 Pragmatic Obligation 227 Contextual Awareness 228 Probable Truth 229 The Standards Imperative 230
14 Advancing Evidence with Interpretive Description 233 Entering the Evidence Debate 233 Putting Research Products to Use 236 Directions in Aggregating and Synthesizing 238 Looking Forward with Optimism 242 References 247 About the Author 263

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