Journal of Advanced Nursing
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Whilst theoretical grounding is considered important for sound research methodology, consensus on the application of theory in qualitative research remains elusive. Novice researchers may experience challenges in applying theory in qualitative research and these may contribute to the under-use, over-reliance or inappropriate application of theory. Practical guidance on how theory can inform and guide the conduct of qualitative research is needed.
The purpose of this paper was to propose a framework for the application of theory in qualitative research and provide an exemplar.
The Theoretical Application Framework for Qualitative Studies (TAF-QS) was developed from the synthesis of existing literature and the authors' own experience of the application of theory.
The TAF-QS encourages researchers to articulate which theoretical framework or conceptional framework they are drawing on and how this will be applied by reflecting on the purpose and the context of the study.
The TAF-QS provides support for researchers to explore how theory can be applied and how to achieve this in qualitative research.
The use of theory in qualitative research.