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Applied Thematic Analysis


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction to Applied Thematic Analysis Chapter 2. Planning and Preparing the Analysis Chapter 3. Themes and Codes Chapter 4. Validity and Reliability (Credibility and Dependability) in Qualitative Research and Data Analysis Chapter 5. Supplemental Analytic Techniques Chapter 6. Data Reduction Techniques Chapter 7. Comparing Thematic Data Chapter 8. Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Data Chapter 9. Choosing Qualitative Data Analysis Software Chapter 10. Writing Up Thematic Analyses

About the Author

Greg Guest received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Georgia. Over the past 15 years, he has designed and managed public health research studies in more than 15 countries. Greg is currently the Director of Research and Evaluation in the Economic Development and Livelihoods department at FHI 360. In this capacity he oversees multisite, mixed methods, research and evaluation activities across multiple fields of public health. Guest's other books include two edited volumes-Globalization, Health and the Environment: An Integrated Perspective (AltaMira, 2005) and Handbook for Team- Based Qualitative Research (AltaMira 2008)-and two co-authored monographs Applied Thematic Analysis (Sage 2012) and Collecting Qualitative Data: A Field Manual for Applied Research (Sage 2013). He's published articles in journals such as Field Methods, Journal of Mixed Methods Research, American Journal of Public Health, JAIDS, AIDS Care, AIDS Education and Prevention, African Journal of AIDS Research, AIDS and Behavior, Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care and Journal of Health Communication. Guest is also owner of the research consulting firm Social Research Solutions, which specializes in methodological training and consultation ( Kathleen M. MacQueen is a Senior Social Scientist and Coordinator of Interdisciplinary Research Ethics at Family Health International in Durham, NC. She is also adjunct faculty with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine and in the Health Behavior and Health Education Program, School of Public Health. She has a Ph.D. in anthropology from Binghamton University and MPH from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Dr. MacQueen has been working in the area of applied research ethics and HIV prevention for over 15 years, with a strong emphasis on qualitative research methods. Both domestically and internationally she has provided leadership on the social, behavioral, and ethical dimensions of trials of HIV vaccines, microbicides, and the prophylactic use of antiretrovirals to prevent acquisition of HIV. Before coming to FHI in 2001, she worked ten years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a research anthropologist and science director in the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention. Her scientific publications have appeared in journals as diverse as Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Annual Review of Anthropology, American Journal of Public Health, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and AIDS Care Journal. Emily E. Namey, MA, has over 10 years' experience applying her skills in project management and knowledge of research methods to the design, implementation, conduct, monitoring, and dissemination of public health research. Emily recently rejoined FHI 360, where she manages domestic and international qualitative and mixed methods projects related to health disparities and HIV prevention. Prior to her work at FHI 360, she spent over 5 years at Duke University, splitting time among the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Trent Center for Bioethics. At Duke, Emily implemented qualitative research on subjects ranging from maternity care to vaccine trial participation to ethical approaches to genomic research recruitment to the use and understanding of Certificates of Confidentiality. She has experience in the private sector as well, having completed projects at Intel Corporation and Nike, Inc. Emily has designed and led qualitative research training courses in more than a dozen countries and has co-authored several methodological publications, including Collecting Qualitative Data (Sage 2012), Applied Thematic Analysis (Sage 2012), Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector's Field Guide (Family Health International, 2005) and "Data reduction techniques for large qualitative datasets" in Handbook for Team-based Qualitative Research (AltaMira 2008). Her publications also include articles in Social Science & Medicine, Fertility and Sterility, AIDS Care, IRB, and the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics. Emily received her MA in applied anthropology from Northern Arizona University.


"There are few qualitative texts that really present a step-by-step process of how to analyze qualitative data in a systematic and rigorous way. It is very well written, students will find this text helpful. The examples are great." -- Howard K. Butcher
"I like that it is practice focused. The real world examples are key and the real world problems make the text more useful. The exercises are nice to pick from for in-class activities or small projects." -- Natoshia M. Askelson
I really think that this is the book that was very much needed. Thematic analysis in my experience is one of the most popular techniques that students use in their dissertations, but there has been little written about methodological foundations and the actual process and procedures of this kind of analysis. I think this book fills this gap very well and provides the description of actual analytical techniques to make the process more structured and rigorous. The book also incorporates examples from NVivo which is a very popular software with many institutions at the moment. The second section is about quantifying qualitative findings - and integrating quantitative and qualitative data. I find the description interesting and there are a couple of very useful tables and classifications of how to do it which no doubt will be useful for students. The section on writing up findings is really useful and I think can be used as a teaching material even if one is not using thematic analysis. Overall the book is very good and I would definitely recommend it to students on Dissertation Writing modules and/or PG Research Methods. -- Maria Karepova

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