The analysis of qualitative research data in family planning and reproductive health care

Karen Forrest-Keenan, Edwin Van Teijlingen, Emma Pitchforth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


This is the third in a series of four papers on the use of qualitative methods in family planning and reproductive health care research. The first paper outlined the three main methods used in qualitative studies1 and the second explored how we can assess the ‘quality’ of qualitative research.2 This paper addresses issues related to the analysis of qualitative data. It begins by discussing the nature of qualitative data and its management, followed by an outline of the main theoretical assumption pertaining to its analysis, that of ‘coding up’ (versus ‘coding down’).
Next we describe some of the major approaches to qualitative data analysis and discuss why you may choose one approach over another. The paper ends by highlighting some general issues in qualitative data analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-43
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005


  • statistical data interpretation
  • family planning services
  • health services research
  • humans
  • qualitative research

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