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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Maximising the impact of qualitative research in feasibility studies for randomised controlled trials: guidance for researchers
Author(s): O'Cathain, Alicia
Hoddinott, Pat
Lewin, Simon
Thomas, Kate J
Young, Bridget
Adamson, Joy
Jansen, Yvonne J F M
Mills, Nicola
Moore, Graham
Donovan, Jenny
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Keywords: Randomised controlled trial
Feasibility studies
Pilot studies
Qualitative methods
Issue Date: Dec-2015
Date Deposited: 7-Sep-2015
Citation: O'Cathain A, Hoddinott P, Lewin S, Thomas KJ, Young B, Adamson J, Jansen YJFM, Mills N, Moore G & Donovan J (2015) Maximising the impact of qualitative research in feasibility studies for randomised controlled trials: guidance for researchers. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 1, Art. No.: 32.
Abstract: Feasibility studies are increasingly undertaken in preparation for randomised controlled trials in order to explore uncertainties and enable trialists to optimise the intervention or the conduct of the trial. Qualitative research can be used to examine and address key uncertainties prior to a full trial. We present guidance that researchers, research funders and reviewers may wish to consider when assessing or undertaking qualitative research within feasibility studies for randomised controlled trials. The guidance consists of 16 items within five domains: research questions, data collection, analysis, teamwork and reporting. Appropriate and well conducted qualitative research can make an important contribution to feasibility studies for randomised controlled trials. This guidance may help researchers to consider the full range of contributions that qualitative research can make in relation to their particular trial. The guidance may also help researchers and others to reflect on the utility of such qualitative research in practice, so that trial teams can decide when and how best to use these approaches in future studies.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s40814-015-0026-y
Rights: © 2015 O’Cathain et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
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