Users’ guide to the surgical literature: how to assess a qualitative study
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SUMMARY: Qualitative research contributes to the medical literature through the observation, description and interpretation of theories about social interactions and individual experiences as they occur in their natural setting. This type of research has the potential to enhance the understanding of surgeons' and patients' preferences, attitudes and beliefs, as well as assess how these may change with time. To date, there is no widely accepted standard for the methodological assessment of qualitative research. Despite ongoing debate, this article seeks to familiarize surgeons with the basic techniques for the critical appraisal of qualitative studies in the surgical literature.
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