Reporting Standard for Qualitative Research: a good or a bad idea? Preliminary results from a Delphi-study

K Hannes, M Heyvaert, K Slegers, S Van den Branden, S Van Houdt, M Van Nuland

Research output: Other contribution


Background: For experimental, diagnostic and longitudinal research standards have been developed with criteria guiding a researcher in how to report the research procedure and findings, in order to increase the quality of reporting and to facilitate the critical appraisal of methodological quality. There have been attempts to develop such a standard for qualitative research, as a result of individual, academic endeavor. However, the criteria identified have not known a considerable uptake by researchers conducting basic qualitative research. This might be related to the variety of different paradigms and the broad range of designs, data-collection and analysis techniques that one could opt for when conducting qualitative research. Objectives: To explore the possibility of developing a consolidated standard for qualitative research (In the potential absence of a consensus on a general standard): To identify particular qualitative methodologies and/or approaches for which reporting guidance should specifically be considered or -on the other hand- might be counter-productive. (In case of agreement on the need for reporting criteria for particular designs): To reach consensus on specific reporting criteria. Methods: A Delphi study will be conducted to try and reach consensus between an international panel of experts selected from a broad pallet of approaches or designs. Approximately 25 experts will contribute to this study. A multidisciplinary team of researchers will assist in initiating discussion and analyzing data. Results: We will report on the findings from the first Delphi-round. This round includes expert opinions related to the evaluation of the potential benefits, feasibility, appropriateness, potential effectiveness and meaningfulness of general standards of reporting for qualitative research. Depending on the progress of the research we will also report on the selection of methodologies that are in need of specific guidance in reporting. Both issues will feed into the potential final round focusing on reporting criteria for particular designs.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCochrane Collaboration
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


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