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Abstraction and interpretation during the qualitative content analysis process
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing. (Britt-marie Lindgren)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3360-5589
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2929-9248
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing. Department of Health Sciences, University West, Trollhättan, Sweden.
2020 (English)In: International Journal of Nursing Studies, ISSN 0020-7489, E-ISSN 1873-491X, Vol. 108, article id 103632Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Qualitative content analysis and other ‘standardised’ methods are sometimes considered to be technical tools used for basic, superficial, and simple sorting of text, and their results lack depth, scientific rigour, and evidence. To strengthen the trustworthiness of qualitative content analyses, we focus on abstraction and interpretation during the analytic process. To our knowledge, descriptions of these concepts are sparse; this paper therefore aims to elaborate on and exemplify the distinction and relation between abstraction and interpretation during the different phases of the process of qualitative content analysis. We address the relations between abstraction and interpretation when selecting, condensing, and coding meaning units and creating categories and themes on various levels. The examples used are based on our experiences of teaching and supervising students at various levels. We also highlight the phases of de-contextualisation and re-contextualisation in describing the analytic process. We argue that qualitative content analysis can be both descriptive and interpretative. When the data allow interpretations of the latent content, qualitative content analysis reveals both depth and meaning in participants’ utterances.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2020. Vol. 108, article id 103632
Keywords [en]
Abstraction, De-contextualisation, Interpretation, Qualitative content analysis, Re-contextualisation
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Caring Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-171534DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2020.103632ISI: 000541257000011PubMedID: 32505813Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85085769949OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-171534DiVA, id: diva2:1434850
Available from: 2020-06-04 Created: 2020-06-04 Last updated: 2023-03-23Bibliographically approved

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Lindgren, Britt-MarieLundman, BeritHällgren Graneheim, Ulla

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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