The term ‘content analysis’ is often misunderstood to refer to solely the quantitative analysis of qualitative data. Systematic categorization, analysis, and interpretation of qualitative content using qualitative techniques is not very common in social sciences and is often confused with other methods like grounded theory. In this session, we discuss the basics of qualitative content analysis. In particular, we focus on the analysis of textual data in the form of journal articles.
With the help of suitable examples, we first examine three types of content analysis (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005; Mayring, 2000):
a) Conventional (inductive);
b) Directed (deductive); and
Secondly, we discuss processes and procedures involved along phases of a study (Forman & Damschroder, 2008):
a) Study design;
b) Data management;
d) Reduction – Coding and categorizing; and e) Interpretation.
Subsequently, we review ways to ensure rigor or trustworthiness (Elo et al., 2014; Graneheim & Lundman, 2004).
Then we conclude by enumerating some advantages and disadvantages of the method.
Elo, S., Kääriäinen, M., Kanste, O., Pölkki, T., Utriainen, K., & Kyngäs, H. (2014). Qualitative content analysis. Sage Open, 4(1), 2158244014522633.
Forman, J., & Damschroder, L. (2008). Qualitative content analysis. Empirical Research for Bioethics: A Primer. Oxford, UK: Elsevier Publishing, 39-62.
Graneheim, U. H., & Lundman, B. (2004). Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse Education Today, 24(2), 105-112.
Hsieh, H. F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277-1288.
Mayring, P. (2000). Qualitative content analysis. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1(2).