Qualitative Research in German Family Medicine Reflected in Studies Published in the „German Journal of Family Medicine”

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2009.0278

german translation / full article

Uwe Flick, Wolfram J. Herrmann

Keywords: qualitative research family medicine methodology review narrative medicine

Background: In German family medicine research, qualitative research appears to be quite a new field. A methodological discourse about qualitative research is just evolving.

Objective: We wanted to explore the state-of-the-art of qualitative research in German family medicine, reflected in studies published in the “German Journal of Family Medicine”. We were especially interested in the methods used and the contents explored by qualitative research.

Method: We searched all publications in the “German Journal of Family Medicine” from 2004–2008. For 2008, we additionally searched “Medline” and “Embase” and the abstracts of the DEGAM congress.

Results: We found 13 articles reporting qualitative studies in the “German Journal of Family Medicine” 2004–2008 (12 % of all research articles). Most papers were interview studies, analysed by qualitative content analysis. Most of the studies researched the general practitioner’s perspective.

Conclusion: In German family medicine, there is a noteworthy amount of qualitative research published, but less than in the UK or Scandinavia. Only a small range of methods is used, a theoretical framework is usually not given. We conclude that there is a need for more education in qualitative methodology for junior researchers in family medicine.

(State: 06.06.2011)

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