Table 3

Different qualitative approaches

Type of qualitative approachDescription
EthnographyResearches the behaviour, interaction, perception and link between people, groups and community. Often has an anthropological component and focuses on context or culture. Data usually collected using interviews or observations.
Grounded theoryData systematically collected usually through interviews. The researcher identifies, refines and integrates categories to produce a theory or modify existing theory.
PhenomenologyResearches people’s experiences or meaning of a phenomenon. Data usually collected using interviews.
Case studyResearches individuals, events, organisations or an entity. Data collected using observations, reports, documents or interviews.
Narrative analysisResearches individuals’ lives. Data collected as stories and often in first person account of the experience.