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Different kinds of truth

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 20 September 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:0

This week's journal offers several different kinds of truth. In opening the last article in her series on how to read a paper Trisha Greenhalgh and Rod Taylor contrast the approaches of quantitative and qualitative research (<p 740>). On the one hand, a finding is more likely to be accepted as a fact if it is expressed in numbers. On the other, qualitative researchers “seek a deeper truth”: they aim to make sense of things in terms of the meanings people bring to them.

The problem of encouraging patients to comply with their treatment …

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