An Interpretive Approach to Clinical Nursing Research

Joan Anderson


Within the past decade there has been heightened interest among nursing researchers in a qualitative approach to the study of problems within the domain of nursing (for example, Ragucci, 1972; Lindemann, 1974; Leininger, 1978; Davis, 1978, 1980; Field, 1981; Porterfield, 1981; Anderson, 1981). Although qualitative works show increasing variety, they share a common feature _ they focus on the study of events as these are constructed in everyday social interactions.
The current interest in qualitative methodologies in nursing research parallels trends in the social sciences, and in fact seems to reflect developments in that field. Leininger (1978) points out, "both the fields of anthropology and nursing are concerned with man's health and illness behavior and this is the initial and common bond which brings the two fields closely together" (p.75). This statement also holds true for the relationship between sociology and nursing.

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