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Data Analysis Software in Qualitative Research

Preconceptions, Expectations, and Adoption

Cypress, Brigitte S. EdD, RN, CCRN

Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing: July/August 2019 - Volume 38 - Issue 4 - p 213–220
doi: 10.1097/DCC.0000000000000363

Research shows that more and more qualitative researchers now use computer software for qualitative data analysis. However, concerns, problems, and misunderstandings continue among developers themselves and researchers about its merits, their preconceptions, expectations, and adoption of the technology. This article examines the role of computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software focusing on the methodological issues surrounding program use and identifies the factors that result to unrealistic expectations of the innovation as a methodology in itself. The secondary aim is to help guide both the expert and novice qualitative critical care researchers on their decision making whether to use or not to use computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software in their studies. A brief review of 2 very common and widely used qualitative data analysis software packages will be presented. A section on making good use of supervision and mentorship in conducting a qualitative inquiry is included. Implications for its adoption and to qualitative research as a whole will be discussed.

Brigitte S. Cypress, EdD, RN, CCRN, is an associate professor of Nursing at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Brigitte S. Cypress, EdD, RN, CCRN, P.O. Box 2205, Pocono Summit, PA 18346 (

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.