Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


An open letter to The BMJ editors on qualitative research

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 10 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i563

Rapid Response:

Re: An open letter to The BMJ editors on qualitative research

One of the virtues of qualitative research is its inclusionary nature and ability to give service-users a voice, both through the research process itself (for example, through a wide range of qualitative social science practices that include participatory action research, in-depth interviewing, ethnographic studies, visual anthropology, biographic narrative studies and so forth) and in reports, documents and presentations. The importance of this kind of research cannot be overemphasized, particularly when dealing with the disadvantaged and/or the unheard voice.

The interface of cultures within our contemporary society includes the interface between specific population groups and an additional culture, the medico-social establishment and its subsets. By its nature, therefore, health and social service use is always comprised of an interface of cultures.

Qualitative research has the potential to contribute to such paradigm changes dramatically, particularly in the field of health, healthcare policy and service provision and contribute greatly to concepts such as work-based learning and practice development.

Well done, Trish and colleagues!

Competing interests: No competing interests

11 February 2016
Director, Bournemouth University Centre for Qualitative Research
Bournemouth University
Royal London House, Bournemouth BH1 3LT