This chapter provides an explanation of what qualitative data is, and gives examples of different analysis methods and the factors that influence how and why they are chosen. Analysing data by looking for common themes (known as thematic analysis) is one of the most common ways in which researchers approach data they have gathered. There are various criticisms levelled at qualitative analysis including issues relating to validity, reliability and credibility. Researchers can address these through a range of methods including triangulation of data, member validation, careful sampling and transparency of approach.
Helen Brooks, Penny Bee and Anne Rogers
Linda Davies and Gemma Shields
Evidence is needed to inform and guide the choices that healthcare organisations make in relation to how budgets are spent. The associated costs and benefits of health treatments are key components of such decisions. An economic evaluation is a way of systematically identifying the costs and benefits of different health activities and comparing these to make an informed decision about the best course of action based on the evidence available. Economic evaluations can also be used to identify uncertainty around the likely costs of a particular health activity and to compare this against a ‘willingness to pay’ threshold, in order to judge their value for money. This chapter examines the key parts of economic evaluations and the data that feed into them, and considers how the results of economic evaluations can be interpreted.