Extent, Awareness and Perception of Dissemination Bias in Qualitative Research: An Explorative Survey

Last modified: November 8, 2018

Decision-makers have become increasingly interested in qualitative research (QR) findings. For example, in order to assess the acceptability of an intervention or diagnostic test, decision-makers use QR-findings to get a better understanding of people’s views and experiences. However, contrary to quantitative research, little is known about ‘the extent to which qualitative researchers also systematically underreport or fail to publish certain types of research findings, and the impact this may have’.

This article presents the results of an online survey that was conducted among 1032 relevant stakeholders, such as researchers, editors and peer reviewers. Its goal was to gather data about dissemination and non-dissemination bias in qualitative research. The survey suggests that qualitative research, just like quantitative research, has a substantial problem of non-dissemination. The authors argue that more research on causes and patterns is much needed because -as more than 70% of the participants agreed upon- non-dissemination can easily lead to inappropriate health policy and health care.

 

Publication

Title: Extent, Awareness and Perception of Dissemination Bias in Qualitative
Research: An Explorative Survey
Authors: Toews I, Glenton C, Lewin S, Berg RC, Noyes J, Booth A, Marusic A, Malicki M, Munthe-Kaas HM, Meerpohl JJ.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159290 (2016)

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