Reliability assessments in qualitative health promotion research

Cook, Kay E. 2011, Reliability assessments in qualitative health promotion research, Heatlh promotion international, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 90-110, doi: 10.1093/heapro/dar027.

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Title Reliability assessments in qualitative health promotion research
Author(s) Cook, Kay E.
Journal name Heatlh promotion international
Volume number 27
Issue number 1
Start page 90
End page 110
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2011-03
ISSN 0957-4824
Keyword(s) qualitative research
research standards
research reliability
Summary This article contributes to the debate about the use of reliability assessments in qualitative research in general, and health promotion research in particular. In this article, I examine the use of reliability assessments in qualitative health promotion research in response to health promotion researchers’ commonly held misconception that reliability assessments improve the rigor of qualitative research. All qualitative articles published in the journal Health Promotion International from 2003 to 2009 employing reliability assessments were examined. In total, 31.3% (20/64) articles employed some form of reliability assessment. The use of reliability assessments increased over the study period, ranging from ,20% in 2003/2004 to 50% and above in 2008/2009, while at the same time the total number of qualitative articles decreased. The articles were then classified into four types of reliability assessments, including the verification of thematic codes, the use of inter-rater reliability statistics, congruence in team coding and congruence in coding across sites. The merits of each type were discussed, with the subsequent discussion focusing on the deductive nature of reliable thematic coding, the limited depth of immediately verifiable data and the usefulness of such studies to health promotion and the advancement of the qualitative paradigm.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/heapro/dar027
Field of Research 111712 Health Promotion
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, Oxford University Press
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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