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Qualitative Research

Guide to help find and critically appraise qualitative research articles

SPIDER: Mixed Methods Qualitative Research Questions

SPIDER is a search strategy for finding research to answer a mixed-method qualitative research question.

 

  • Sample: Sample is similar to Patient/Population of PICO. This is the group of people you are interesting in studying qualitatively. For example, in the qualitative research question, "What are the barriers felt by clinicians that lead to the reluctance to use EBP in practice?", S = clinicians
     
  • Phenomenon of Interest: The Phenomenon of Interest can be similar to Intervention of PICO. This can be viewed as the topic of the research. For example, in the qualitative research question, "What are the barriers felt by clinicians that lead to the reluctance to use EBP in practice?", PI = Use of EBP
     
  • Design: Design can be viewed as the techniques used by the qualitative researchers to gather their data. The design choice depends on what your qualitative research design plan will be. For example, in the qualitative research question, "What are the barriers felt by clinicians that lead to the reluctance to use EBP in practice?", D = Interviews or Focus Groups. Typically these are:
    • Focus Groups
    • Interviews
    • Observations
       
  • Evaluation: Evaluation is similar to Outcomes of PICO. For example, in the qualitative research question, "What are the barriers felt by clinicians that lead to the reluctance to use EBP in practice?", E = Barriers to use of EBP
     
  • Research Type: Research type can be viewed as the type of qualitative research that could have been used. For example, in the qualitative research question, "What are the barriers felt by clinicians that lead to the reluctance to use EBP in practice?", R = Phenomenology. The types are:
    • Phenomenology
    • Ethnography
    • Grounded theory
    • Case study

Using SPIDER for Search Terms

Now that you have your qualitative research questions broken into SPiDER, you can now think about your search strategy and search terms.

For example, in the qualitative research question, "What are the barriers felt by clinicians that lead to the reluctance to use EBP in practice?"

Sample Phenomenon of Interest Design Evaluation Research
clinician* OR health care professional OR health care provider evidence-based practice OR EBP interview* OR focus group* barrier* OR hinder* OR resist* phenomenology

NOTE: You might not use all these terms in your search.

 

FINAL BOOLEAN SEARCH:

(clinician* OR health care professional OR health care provider) AND (evidence-based practice OR EBP) AND (interview* OR focus group*) AND (barrier* OR hinder* OR resist*) AND phenomenology


 

Cooke, A., Smith, D., & Booth, A. (2012). Beyond PICO: The SPIDER tool for qualitative evidence synthesis. Quality Health Research, 22(10), 1435-1443. doi: 10.1177/1049732312452938

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