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Issues of validity and reliability in qualitative research
  1. Helen Noble1,
  2. Joanna Smith2
  1. 1School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queens's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  2. 2School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Helen Noble
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queens's University Belfast, Medical Biology Centre, 97 Lisburn Rd, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK; helen.noble{at}qub.ac.uk

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Evaluating the quality of research is essential if findings are to be utilised in practice and incorporated into care delivery. In a previous article we explored ‘bias’ across research designs and outlined strategies to minimise bias.1 The aim of this article is to further outline rigour, or the integrity in which a study is conducted, and ensure the credibility of findings in relation to qualitative research. Concepts such as reliability, validity and generalisability typically associated with quantitative research and alternative terminology will be compared in relation to their application to qualitative research. In addition, some of the strategies adopted by qualitative researchers to enhance the credibility of their research are outlined.

Are the terms reliability and validity relevant to ensuring credibility in qualitative research?

Assessing the reliability of study findings requires researchers and health professionals to make judgements about the ‘soundness’ of the research in relation to …

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