• The Value and Potential of Qualitative Research Methods in Neurosurgery

      Whiffin, Charlotte J.; Smith, Brandon G.; Selveindran, Santhani M.; Bashford, Tom; Esene, Ignatius N.; Mee, Harry; Barki, M. Tariq; Baticulon, Ronnie E.; Khu, Kathleen J.; Hutchinson, Peter J.; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2021-12-18)
      To explore the value and potential of qualitative research to neurosurgery and provide insight and understanding to this underused methodology. The definition of qualitative research is critically discussed and the heterogeneity within this field of inquiry explored. The value of qualitative research to the field of neurosurgery is articulated through its contribution to understanding complex clinical problems. To resolve some of the misunderstanding of qualitative research, this paper discusses research design choices. We explore approaches that use qualitative techniques but are not, necessarily, situated within a qualitative paradigm in addition to how qualitative research philosophy aids researchers to conduct interpretive inquiry that can reveal more than simply what was said by participants. Common research designs associated with qualitative inquiry are introduced, and how complex analysis may contribute more in-depth insights is explained. Approaches to quality are discussed briefly to support improvements in qualitative methods and qualitative manuscripts. Finally, we consider the future of qualitative research in neurosurgery, and suggest how to move forward in the qualitative neurosurgical evidence base. There is enormous potential for qualitative research to contribute to the advancement of person-centered care within neurosurgery. There are signs that more qualitative research is being conducted and that neurosurgical journals are increasingly open to this methodology. While studies that do not engage fully within the qualitative paradigm can make important contributions to the evidence base, due regard should be given to immersive inquiry within qualitative paradigms to allow complex, in-depth, investigations of the human experience.