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Discovering new areas of veterinary science through qualitative research interviews: introductory concepts for veterinarians

May, CF
Australian veterinary journal 2018 v.96 no.8 pp. 278-284
evidence-based practice, interviews, patients, qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis, veterinarians, veterinary medicine
BACKGROUND: Qualitative research is rarely used in the veterinary field. With the increasing complexity of the veterinary arena, qualitative research will become progressively relevant in pursuit of answers to new and equally complex research questions. AIM: This paper introduces the fundamental concepts of qualitative research interviews, aiming to highlight their potential value to veterinary science, and to provide veterinarians with the foundations on which to build a greater understanding of this type of research. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The ability to understand and critically appraise qualitative research can assist veterinarians in evidence‐based practice, wherein veterinary professionals use the best evidence possible to make treatment and management decisions. This will allow veterinarians to not only provide the best possible care to meet the needs of both clients and patients, but also to identify solutions to complex veterinary issues beyond the clinical setting. IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH: An improved understanding of qualitative research within the veterinary profession can lead to its greater utilisation in veterinary research. This will provide the profession with insights into those topic areas that are hard to reach with more widely used quantitative research. More professional dialogue is required on research methods and methodologies to facilitate veterinarians’ evidence‐based practice; this is especially true for qualitative research.