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Salud Colectiva

On-line version ISSN 1851-8265Print version ISSN 1669-2381


MERCADO, Francisco J. et al. Teaching qualitative health research: voices from Iberoamerica. Salud Colectiva [online]. 2005, vol.1, n.1, pp.97-116. ISSN 1851-8265.

Qualitative research has been gaining ground in health in Iberoamerica over the last decades. Numerous teaching programmes have been organized; in spite of this, there are almost no publications in the region assessing its progress, or reporting the successes and difficulties encountered in teaching this kind of research. In this paper, five scholars speak of their experience in teaching qualitative health research. They focus on four topics: their arrival to qualitative inquiry and its teaching; the strengths, achievements and opportunities of the educational programmes in which they have been involved; the difficulties and obstacles faced in the process and; the challenges and priorities for its teaching in the future. The scholars were invited on the basis of their geographical location and their experience in the subject. Communication among them was through the web. A version of the SWOT analysis and the Delphi technique were used. Participants, far apart geographically, with different professional trajectories and academic backgrounds, have found reasons why teaching qualitative health research has been considered a success: there is huge enthusiasm among young people and women, a growing interest, academic rigour, it is interdisciplinary and has gained legitimacy as a valid form of inquiry. The educational programmes are still not fully developed and the social environment is adverse towards them are two difficulties encountered. They agree on that teaching qualitative inquiry should be linked to the quantitative perspective and incorporate new technologies. Social and cultural particularities of the region must be taken into account in the way the field should be taught.

Keywords : Teaching; Qualitative Research; Health; Iberoamerica.

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