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Qualitative research methods in mental health 

Qualitative research methods in mental health
Qualitative research methods in mental health
Oxford Textbook of Community Mental Health

Rob Whitley


In this chapter I set out to introduce the reader to qualitative research in mental health. I describe its main methods of inquiry, and its underpinning foundational and philosophical principles. I give numerous examples of where qualitative research has been fruitfully employed in community psychiatry. I then describe criteria of rigour which can be used to assess the strength and contribution of any qualitative study in mental health. I believe qualitative research continues to offer interesting insights into the prevention, diagnosis, phenomenology, treatment, management, and understanding of psychiatric disorder. It may also assist resolution of current policy imperatives, such as calls for person-centred care, and more thorough evaluations of service effectiveness.

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