General distinctions between selected qualitative research approaches: an illustration using breast cancer research

MethodResearch questionAnalytic strategyResearch product
Grounded theoryHow do women with breast cancer cope with changes to body image?Constant comparative analysisTheory regarding basic social processes involved in coping with breast cancer and factors that might account for variations
PhenomenologyWhat is the lived experience of having breast cancer?Phenomenological reduction; hermeneutic analysisDescription of the essential structure of breast cancer experience
EthnographyHow is breast cancer understood and managed in different social contexts?Representation, inscription, translation, and textualisation of culture into writingTypology of interpretations, relations, and variations within breast cancer experience
Narrative analysisHow do women with breast cancer come to know their experience?Generating, interpreting, and representing women's stories in narrative formNarrative accounts of women's explanations for their breast cancer experiences