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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

Print version ISSN 1413-8123

Abstract

BOSI, Maria Lúcia Magalhães. Qualitative research in collective health: overview and challenges. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.3, pp. 575-586. ISSN 1413-8123.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000300002.

This article provides an overview of the nuclear themes in the debate about the qualitative health research approach in the Brazilian scientific context and more specifically in the public health field. The author begins by defining some central concepts in the analysis conducted. Then, combining the literature on the subject with her academic praxis, she examines the current status of this research tradition, highlighting an extensive set of challenges. The discussion focuses on each challenge, moving between the different epistemic, ethical and operational planes in relation to the scientific status of this approach to public health. Considering various questions and based on empirical examples, analysis shows that, despite the expansion observed in qualitative research and its contributions to public health, this approach still faces many challenges before consolidating its status. The situation demands investments in dialogue with the other approaches which form the core area. Despite these challenges, the paper concludes by pointing to the possibility of new pacts in the public health field in order to incorporate innovations to address the diversity and complexity of this field.

Keywords : Qualitative research; Public health; Health systems; Methodology; Science.

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