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Using circular questions in qualitative research

Evans, Nicola ORCID: and Whitcombe, Steven ORCID: 2016. Using circular questions in qualitative research. Nurse Researcher 23 (3) , pp. 26-29. 10.7748/nr.23.3.26.s6

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Background Circular questions are used within systematic family therapy as a tool to generate multiple explanations and stories from a family situation and as a means to stimulate the curiosity of the therapist while avoiding their temptation to seek a one definitive explanation. Aim To consider the potential for using this approach in qualitative research, with researchers using carefully crafted questions to invite respondents to provide information about the meanings behind a phenomenon or consider how relationships between people contribute to it. Discussion Drawing on examples from a study into children’s mental health services, this paper discusses the application of the technique of circular questioning from systemic family therapy to qualitative research. Conclusion The use of circular questions is a technique that qualitative researchers could employ in the field when conducting interviews with individuals or groups, or when engaged in participant observation as a means to obtain rich sources of data.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Additional Information: The PDF is not the version of record.
Publisher: RCN Publishing
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 10 June 2015
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 22:08

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