Qualitative content analysis in nursing research:
concepts, procedures and measures to achieve
U.H. Graneheim*, B. Lundman
Department of Nursing, Ume? a University, Ume? a 90187, Sweden
Accepted 8 October 2003
Summary Qualitative content analysis as described in published literature shows
conflicting opinions and unsolved issues regarding meaning and use of concepts,
procedures and interpretation. This paper provides an overview of important
concepts (manifest and latent content, unit of analysis, meaning unit, condensation,
abstraction, content area, code, category and theme) related to qualitative content
analysis; illustrates the use of concepts related to the research procedure; and
proposes measures to achieve trustworthiness (credibility, dependability and trans-
ferability) throughout the steps of the research procedure. Interpretation in
qualitative content analysis is discussed in light of Watzlawick et al.’s [Pragmatics
of Human Communication. A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies and
Paradoxes. W.W. Norton & Company, New York, London] theory of communication.
c 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Initially content analysis dealt with ‘the objective,
systematic and quantitative description of the
manifest content of communication’ (Berelson,
1952, p. 18) but, over time, it has expanded to also
include interpretations of latent content. Many
authors, from a variety of research traditions, have
addressed content analysis (for example, Berelson,
1952; Krippendorff, 1980; Findahl and H€ oijer,
1981; Woods and Catanzaro, 1988; Downe-Wam-
boldt, 1992; Burnard, 1991, 1996; Polit and Hun-
gler, 1999). The first descriptions date from the
1950s and are predominately quantitative. Cur-
rently, two principal uses of content analysis are
evident. One is a quantitative approach often used
in, for example, media research, and the other is a
qualitative approach often used in, for example,
nursing research and education. Qualitative con-
tent analysis in nursing research and education has
been applied to a variety of data and to various
depths of interpretation (for example, O’Brien
et al., 1997; Latter et al., 2000; Berg and Welander
Hansson, 2000; S€ oderberg and Lundman, 2001).
A review of literature based on common data-
bases (Cinahl, Medline and Sociological Abstracts)
as well as references from articles and books shows
different opinions and unsolved issues regarding
meaning and use of concepts, procedures and in-
terpretation in qualitative content analysis. The
diversities can be understood partly from a histor-
ical point of view and partly from various beliefs of
the nature of reality among researchers.
*Corresponding author. Tel.: +46-90-786-9258; fax: +46-90-
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (U.H.
0260-6917/$ - see front matter ?
c 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Nurse Education Today (2004) 24, 105–112
An assumption underlying our paper is that re-
ality can be interpreted in various ways and the
understanding is dependent on subjective inter-
pretation. Qualitative research, based on data
from narratives and observations, requires under-
standing and co-operation between the researcher
and the participants, such that texts based on in-
terviews and observations are mutual, contextual
and value bound (Lincoln and Guba, 1985; Mishler,
1986). Thus, our presumption is that a text always
involves multiple meanings and there is always
some degree of interpretation when approaching a
text. This is an essential issue when discussing
trustworthiness of findings in qualitative content
Another issue is that concepts within the quan-
titative research tradition still predominate when
describing qualitative content analysis (for exam-
ple, Krippendorff, 1980; Burnard, 1991; Downe-
Wamboldt, 1992), especially the use of concepts
describing trustworthiness. This causes confusion
and paradigmatic uncertainty among authors and
readers of scientific papers.
The purpose of this paper was threefold: first, to
provide an overview of concepts of importance
related to qualitative content analysis in nursing
research; second, to illustrate the use of concepts
related to the research procedure; and third, to
address measures to achieve trustworthiness.
Overview of concepts
The following provides an overview of concepts
related to qualitative content analysis and is to be
seen as a contribution to a debate rather than an
endeavour to find consensus. First, we present
various uses of concepts found in the literature,
and then we give reasons for our stance. The con-
cepts are manifest and latent content, unit of
analysis, meaning unit, condensing, abstracting,
content area, code, category and theme.
A basic issue when performing qualitative con-
tent analysis is to decide whether the analysis
should focus on manifest or latent content. Analysis
of what the text says deals with the content aspect
and describes the visible, obvious components, re-
ferred to as the manifest content (Downe-Wam-
boldt, 1992; Kondracki et al., 2002). In contrast,
analysis of what the text talks about deals with the
relationship aspect and involves an interpretation
of the underlying meaning of the text, referred to
as the latent content (Downe-Wamboldt, 1992;
Kondracki et al., 2002). Both manifest and latent
content deal with interpretation but the interpre-
tations vary in depth and level of abstraction.
One of the most basic decisions when using
content analysis is selecting the unit of analysis. In
the literature, unit of analysis refers to a great
variety of objects of study, for example, a person,
a program, an organisation, a classroom or a clinic
(Mertens, 1998), or a community, state or nation
(Patton, 1987). Other authors have considered the
unit of analysis as interviews or diaries in their
entity, and the amount of space allocated to a
topic or an interaction under study (Downe-Wam-
boldt, 1992). Parts of the text that are abstracted
and coded (Weber, 1990), or every word or phrase
written in the transcript (Feeley and Gottlieb,
1998), have also been considered as units of anal-
ysis. We suggest that the most suitable unit of
analysis is whole interviews or observational pro-
tocols that are large enough to be considered a
whole and small enough to be possible to keep in
mind as a context for the meaning unit, during the
A meaning unit, that is, the constellation of
words or statements that relate to the same cen-
tral meaning, has been referred to as a content
unit or coding unit (Baxter, 1991), an idea unit
(Kovach, 1991), a textual unit (Krippendorff,
1980), a keyword and phrase (Lichstein and Young,
1996), a unit of analysis (Downe-Wamboldt, 1992),
and a theme (Polit and Hungler, 1991). We consider
a meaning unit as words, sentences or paragraphs
containing aspects related to each other through
their content and context.
In the literature, shortening the text includes
the concepts of reduction (Findahl and H€ oijer,
1981), distillation (Cavanagh, 1997) and conden-
sation (Coffey and Atkinson, 1996). Reduction re-
fers to decreasing the size, but it indicates nothing
about the quality of what remains. Distillation
deals with the abstracted quality of a text, which
we see as a further step in the analysis process. We
prefer condensation, as it refers to a process of
shortening while still preserving the core.
The process whereby condensed text is ab-
stracted has been called aggregation (Barrosso,
1997) and ‘grouping together under higher order
headings’ (Burnard, 1991, p. 462). We suggest ab-
straction, since it emphasises descriptions and in-
terpretations on a higher logical level. Examples of
abstraction include the creations of codes, cate-
gories and themes on varying levels.
Parts of a text dealing with a specific issue have
been referred to as a domain or rough structure
(Patton, 1990), a cluster (Barrosso, 1997) and a
content area (Baxter, 1991). We prefer content
area since it sheds light on a specific explicit area
of content identified with little interpretation. A
content area can be parts of the text based on
106 U.H. Graneheim, B. Lundman
theoretical assumptions from the literature, or
parts of the text that address a specific topic in an
interview or observation guide.
The label of a meaning unit has been referred to
as a code. There seems to be agreement in the
literature about the use and the meaning of a code.
According to Coffey and Atkinson (1996, p. 32)
‘codes are tools to think with’ and ‘heuristic de-
vices’ since labelling a condensed meaning unit
with a code allows the data to be thought about in
new and different ways. A code can be assigned to,
for example, discrete objects, events and other
phenomena, and should be understood in relation
to the context.
Creating categories is the core feature of qual-
itative content analysis. A category is a group of
content that shares a commonality (Krippendorff,
1980). Patton (1987) describes categories as in-
ternally homogeneous and externally heteroge-
categories must be exhaustive and mutually ex-
clusive. This means that no data related to the
purpose should be excluded due to lack of a suit-
able category. Furthermore, no data should fall
between two categories or fit into more than one
category. However, owing to the intertwined na-
ture of human experiences, it is not always possible
to create mutually exclusive categories when a
text deals with experiences. A category answers
the question ‘What?’ (Krippendorff, 1980) and can
be identified as a thread throughout the codes. As
we see it, a category refers mainly to a descriptive
level of content and can thus be seen as an ex-
pression of the manifest content of the text. A
category often includes a number of sub-categories
or sub-subcategories at varying levels of abstrac-
tion. The sub-categories can be sorted and ab-
stracted into a category or a category can be
divided into sub-categories.
The concept of theme has multiple meanings
and creating themes is a way to link the underlying
meanings together in categories. Polit and Hungler
(1999) describe a theme as a recurring regularity
developed within categories or cutting across cat-
egories. Baxter (1991) defines themes as threads of
meaning that recur in domain after domain. The
concept of theme is also used in literature in other
qualitative methods. van Manen (1990, p. 87)
considers a theme to ‘describe an aspect of the
structure of experience’ and emphasises that a
theme can not be an object or a thing. A theme
answers the question ‘How?’ We consider a theme
to be a thread of an underlying meaning through,
condensed meaning units, codes or categories, on
an interpretative level. A theme can be seen as an
expression of the latent content of the text. Since
all data have multiple meanings (Krippendorff,
1980; Downe-Wamboldt, 1992), themes are not
meaning unit, a code or a category can fit into
more than one theme. A theme can be constructed
by sub-themes or divided into sub-themes.
Illustrations of the use of concepts
In the following we illustrate the use of concepts
and analysis procedures for two texts based on in-
terviews and observations respectively. One ratio-
nale behind giving two examples is to show various
ways to develop themes. The processes of analysis
are described and shown in Figs. 1–3. Even if these
descriptions point to a linear process, it is impor-
tant to bear in mind that the process of analysis
involves a back and forth movement between the
whole and parts of the text.
Qualitative content analysis of an
The unit of analysis in this example is interview
text about experiences of having hypoglycaemia.
The context consists of a larger study aimed at
describing coping strategies related to the every-
day strains of living with diabetes (Lundman and
Norberg, 1993). Twenty adults with Type 1-diabe-
tes, aged 25–59 years, participated in the study.
Interviews were performed addressing various as-
pects of living with Type 1-diabetes. The interview
Meaning unit Condensed meaning unitCode
there is a curious feeling in the head in
some way, empty in some way
curious feeling of
emptiness in the head
emptiness in the
it is more unpredictable so to say, you
can never be sure about anything
An unpredictable and
Examples of meaning units, condensed meaning units and codes.
Qualitative content analysis in nursing research107
text was sorted into seven content areas: experi-
ences related to the onset of the disease; man-
agement of the disease in daily living; experiences
related to hypoglycaemia; experiences related to
hyperglycaemia; self-monitoring of blood glucose;
and ideas about complications and the future. Ex-
periences related to hypoglycaemia were evoked
by asking: ‘Please tell me about your experiences
of having hypoglycaemia.’
The interviews were read through several times
to obtain a sense of the whole. Then the text about
the participants’ experiences of having hypo-
glycaemia was extracted and brought together into
one text, which constituted the unit of analysis.
The text was divided into meaning units that were
condensed. The condensed meaning units were
abstracted and labelled with a code. Examples of
meaning units, condensed meaning units and codes
are shown in Fig. 1. The whole context was con-
sidered when condensing and labelling meaning
units with codes. The various codes were compared
based on differences and similarities and sorted
Theme LACK OF CONTROL AND STRUGGLE FOR REGAINING CONTROL
Category SENSATIONSACTIONS COGNITIONS
Emptiness in the
Emptiness in the
Stiffness in the
Loss of control
Urge to eat
“Attack” on the
Inability to think clearly
Uncertainty of what to say
Unawareness of surroundings
Examples of codes, sub-categories, categories and a theme from content analysis of narratives about
Meaning unit Condensed meaning unit
Description close to the text
Condensed meaning unit
Interpretation of the
Fighting to defend her body zone
She kicks about and hits the care provider when
she is putting shampoo to her hair. // She tries to
push the care providers away.
When the care providers are in her room she
closes the door from the outside so the care
providers are locked up in her room and she
stays outside in the corridor.
She comes out to the corridor. She wears T-
shirt, plastic pants and diapers and she has
faeces all over her body. She walks into another
resident’s room and locks the door. // The care
provider goes to see what she is doing and it
appears that she has laid down in his bed.
She goes into the ward office and starts to mess
about among the staff’s documents.
The care provider knocks on her door, waits for
Using physical violence when
being undressed and washed.
Closing the door between herself
and the care providers.
Marking a boundary against
Fighting to protect
her personal space
Appearing undressed and “dirty”
in commonly used areas and in
other residents’ rooms and beds.
Crossing fellow residents’
Causing a mess in the ward
Knocks on the door and waits for
Crossing the care providers’
Asking permission and waiting
for an answer before entering her
physical space of
Paying respect to
her physical space
The care providers permit her to rise and
rummage about, she is allowed to move around
while they are looking after her. // She is
wandering around in the bathroom during the
She sits in a chair in her room restrained by a
belt. // The care providers put her into a shower
chair and restrain her with a belt, which is tied
to the back of the chair.
The care provider sits on her bed and leans over
Care providers ask: “Shall we go to the toilet?”
“Shall we take a shower?”
The care provider is talking with others about
her rash and itch.
Permitting her to rise, rummage
about, move around and wander
during the morning toilet.
Allowing a certain amount of
freedom of movement during the
Paying respect to
her personal space
Using physical restraints.
Sits on her bed and leans over
Addressing her as we instead of
Discussing private ma tters over
Coming too close.
Treating private matters as
Interaction as a
observations about interaction between a woman with dementia and her care providers.
Examples of meaning units, condensed meaning units, sub-themes and themes from content analysis of
108 U.H. Graneheim, B. Lundman
into six sub-categories and three categories, which
constitute the manifest content. The tentative
categories were discussed by two researchers and
revised. What differed between the two research-
ers was their judgement about what comprised
familiar and unfamiliar sensations and actions. A
process of reflection and discussion resulted in
agreement about how to sort the codes. Finally,
the underlying meaning, that is, the latent con-
tent, of the categories, was formulated into a
theme. Examples of codes, sub-categories, cate-
gories and a theme are given in Fig. 2.
Qualitative content analysis of a text
based on observations
The unit of analysis in this example is text based on
14 observational notes and six reflective dialogues.
The context was a study aiming to illuminate how
one woman with dementia and ‘behavioural dis-
turbances’ acted in relation to her care providers,
and how the care providers acted in relation to her
(Graneheim et al., 2001). The study was performed
at a residential home for people with dementia and
so called ‘behavioural disturbances’. The care
providers were asked to select a person whose
‘behavioural disturbances’ caused severe difficul-
ties in daily care. Two observers participated on six
occasions during morning toilet and breakfast. One
observer was familiar to the setting and the par-
ticipants and represented an insider perspective.
The other observer was unfamiliar with these
conditions and represented an outsider perspec-
tive. The participant observations focused on the
interaction going on between the woman with de-
mentia and her care providers. To further illumi-
nate various aspects of the ongoing interaction, a
reflective dialogue between the observers and the
care providers followed each observation occasion.
The observational notes and reflective dialogues
were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim.
The text was read through several times to ob-
tain a sense of the whole. Six observational notes,
one from each occasion, were divided into meaning
units. Considering the context, the meaning units
were condensed into a description close to the
text, the manifest content, and, where possible,
into an interpretation of the underlying meaning,
the latent content. Since parts of the text were
much more concentrated than an interview text,
further condensation was difficult. The condensed
meaning units were seen as a whole and abstracted
into sub-themes. Examples of meaning units, con-
densed meaning units, sub-themes and theme are
shown in Fig. 3. Sub-themes were threads of
meaning running through the condensed text. The
sub-themes were presented to the care providers
and revised with consideration to their opinion.
The remaining eight observational notes were
analysed. A co-researcher read one-third of the
observational notes and the thematisation. A pro-
cess of reflection and discussion resulted in
agreement on a set of sub-themes. Lastly, reflec-
tion on the sub-themes and a review of literature
related to the sub-themes provided phenomena
that seemed to serve as relevant headings to unify
the sub-themes into themes. To reveal meaning
units that rejected interpretations of the observa-
tional text the reflective dialogues were analysed
and nothing that contradicted the themes could be
Measures for achieving trustworthiness
Research findings should be as trustworthy as pos-
sible and every research study must be evaluated in
relation to the procedures used to generate the
findings. The use of concepts for describing trust-
worthiness differs between the qualitative and the
quantitative research traditions. Within the tradi-
tion of qualitative content analysis, use of con-
cepts related to the quantitative tradition, such as
validity, reliability and generalisability, is still
common (for example, Downe-Wamboldt, 1992;
Olson et al., 1998; Shields and King, 2001). In
qualitative research the concepts credibility, de-
pendability and transferability have been used to
describe various aspects of trustworthiness (for
example, Guba, 1981; Lincoln and Guba, 1985;
Patton, 1987; Polit and Hungler, 1999; Berg
and Welander Hansson, 2000). However, Long and
Johnson (2000, p. 31) propose that validity and
reliability have ‘the same essential meaning’ irre-
spective of research tradition and nothing is gained
by changing labels. In our paper, we suggest ap-
plication of concepts linked to the qualitative tra-
dition when reporting findings of studies using
qualitative content analysis. Even though we sep-
arate the aspects of trustworthiness, they should
be viewed as intertwined and interrelated.
Credibility deals with the focus of the research
and refers to confidence in how well data and
processes of analysis address the intended focus
(Polit and Hungler, 1999). The first question con-
cerning credibility arises when making a decision
about the focus of the study, selection of context,
participants and approach to gathering data.
Choosing participants with various experiences in-
creases the possibility of shedding light on the re-
search question from a variety of aspects (Patton,
Qualitative content analysis in nursing research109
1987; Adler and Adler, 1988). In our illustrations,
interviewees’ various genders and ages, and ob-
servers with various perspectives, contributed to a
richer variation of the phenomena under study.
Selecting the most appropriate method for data
collection and the amount of data are also impor-
tant in establishing credibility. The amount of data
necessary to answer a research question in a
credible way varies depending on the complexity of
the phenomena under study and the data quality.
Another critical issue for achieving credibility is
to select the most suitable meaning unit. Meaning
units that are too broad, for example, several
paragraphs, will be difficult to manage since they
are likely to contain various meanings. Too narrow
meaning units, for example, a single word, may
result in fragmentation. An exception to this is
when one or several words represent a symbol or
metaphor. In both cases there is a risk of losing
meaning of the text during the condensation and
units, condensations and abstractions are made
facilitates judging credibility of the findings (see
Credibility of research findings also deals with
how well categories and themes cover data, that
is, no relevant data have been inadvertently or
systematically excluded or irrelevant data in-
cluded. Credibility is also a question of how to
judge the similarities within and differences be-
tween categories. One way to approach this is to
show representative quotations from the tran-
scribed text. Another way is to seek agreement
among co-researchers, experts and participants.
There are various opinions about the appropri-
ateness of seeking agreement. Sandelowski (1993,
1998) argues that, since multiple realities exist
that are dependent on subjective interpretations,
validation among co-researchers, experts and par-
ticipants is questionable. Even though we agree
that reality is multiple and subjective, we defend
the value of dialogue among co-researchers. The
intent here is not merely to verify that data are
labelled and sorted in exactly the same way, but to
determine whether or not various researchers and
experts would agree with the way those data were
labelled and sorted (Woods and Catanzaro, 1988).
Participants’ recognition of the findings can also be
an aspect of credibility. It is not, however, a
question of verification but rather a question of
Another aspect of trustworthiness is depend-
ability. According to Lincoln and Guba (1985, p.
299), dependability ‘seeks means for taking into
account both factors of instability and factors of
phenomenal or design induced changes’, that is,
the degree to which data change over time and
alterations made in the researcher’s decisions
during the analysis process.
When data are extensive and the collection ex-
tends over time, there is a risk of inconsistency
during data collection. On one hand, it is important
to question the same areas for all the participants.
On the other hand, interviewing and observing is an
evolving process during which interviewers and ob-
servers acquire new insights into the phenomenon
of study that can subsequently influence follow-up
questions or narrow the focus for observation. The
extent to which judgements about similarities and
differences of content are consistent over time can,
as in our illustrations, be addressed by an open di-
alogue within the research team.
Trustworthiness also includes the question of
transferability, which refers to ‘the extent to
which the findings can be transferred to other
settings or groups’ (Polit and Hungler, 1999, p.
717). The authors can give suggestions about
transferability, but it is the reader’s decision
whether or not the findings are transferable to
To facilitate transferability, it is valuable to give
a clear and distinct description of culture and
context, selection and characteristics of partici-
pants, data collection and process of analysis. A
rich and vigorous presentation of the findings to-
gether with appropriate quotations will also en-
There is no single correct meaning or universal
application of research findings, but only the most
probable meaning from a particular perspective. In
qualitative research, trustworthiness of interpre-
tations deals with establishing arguments for the
most probable interpretations. Trustworthiness
will increase if the findings are presented in a way
that allows the reader to look for alternative in-
When discussing meaning and use of concepts,
procedures and interpretation related to qualita-
tive content analysis, it is valuable to consider
whether qualitative content analysis is a separate
method or tool used within different forms of
qualitative analysis. On one hand, a method that is
so inexact that it fits into different research fields,
methodological approaches and data can be seen
as merely a tool. On the other hand, it can be as-
sumed that qualitative content analysis has specific
characteristics and underlying theoretical assump-
tions which need to be further illuminated.
110 U.H. Graneheim, B. Lundman
One characteristic of qualitative content analy-
sis is that the method, to a great extent, focuses on
the subject and context, and emphasises differ-
ences between and similarities within codes and
categories. Another characteristic is that the
method deals with manifest as well as latent con-
tent in a text. The manifest content, that is, what
the text says, is often presented in categories,
while themes are seen as expressions of the latent
content, that is, what the text is talking about.
One way to understand the theoretical assump-
tions underlying qualitative content analysis is to
relate the method to communication theory as
described by Watzlawick et al. (1967). They state
axioms concerning human communication that
could shed light on the issue of interpretation. One
axiom is that ‘one cannot not communicate’
(Watzlawick et al., 1967, p. 51). Texts based on
interviews and observations are shaped within an
interaction between the researcher and the par-
ticipants and can be seen as a communication act.
In every text there are messages to be interpreted
and described. As soon as the analysis procedure
begins, ongoing communication between the re-
searcher and the text is present. Another axiom is
that ‘every communication has a content aspect
and a relationship aspect such that the latter
classifies the former and is therefore a meta-
communication’ (Watzlawick et al., 1967, p. 54). In
our illustrations, categories are seen as repre-
senting the manifest content, that is, the content
aspect, and themes are representing the latent
content, which can be seen as the relationship
‘Human beings communicate both digitally and
analogically’ is another axiom of Watzlawick et al.
(1967, p. 66). Verbal communication is mainly
digital and easily transcribed into a text while non-
verbal communication is mainly analogical and of-
ten put at a disadvantage in the transcription
process. However, meaning is partly created by
how a message is communicated, that is, the voice
or implied feeling that emerges from the reading of
the text (Downe-Wamboldt, 1992). Therefore,
when transcribing interviews and observations into
text, it is valuable to notice silence, sighs, laugh-
ter, posture, gestures etc., as these may influence
the underlying meaning. Watzlawick et al. (1967,
p. 59) have also formulated the axiom that ‘the
nature of a relationship is contingent upon the
punctuation of the communicational sequences
between the communicants’. Dividing the text into
meaning units is a way of punctuating the ongoing
communication in a text and is important for both
manifest and latent content when beginning and
ending a meaning unit.
Another aspect of interpretation is that a text
always involves multiple meanings and the re-
searcher’s interpretation is influenced by his or her
personal history. Since the researcher is often the
one who collects the data as well as the one who
performs the analysis, the question of the re-
searcher’s qualifications, training and experiences
is important (Patton, 1990). In qualitative content
analysis interpretation involves a balancing act. On
one hand, it is impossible and undesirable for the
researcher not to add a particular perspective to
the phenomena under study. On the other hand,
the researcher must ‘let the text talk’ and not
impute meaning that is not there.
Learning and teaching how to analyse texts is a
delicate matter in nursing education. Qualitative
content analysis can be a valuable method for
students when attending a research class for the
first time due to the opportunity to perform the
analysis at various degrees of difficulty. Analysing
content close to the text, that is, the manifest
content, can be a suitable starting point. With in-
creasing knowledge and ability students may ad-
vance to interpret the underlying meaning, that is,
the latent content, on various levels of abstraction.
In conclusion, our paper is intended to be used in
nursing research and education and to contribute
to a debate on qualitative content analysis. In or-
der to clarify the underlying assumptions of quali-
tative content analysis, we suggest using concepts
related to qualitative research when describing the
research procedure and measures to achieve
trustworthiness. Moreover, we apply communica-
tion theory as a way to address the issue of inter-
pretation and clarify the underlying assumptions of
qualitative content analysis.
We are grateful to our colleagues at the Depart-
ment of Nursing for fruitful reflections that helped
us to clarify our thoughts and for valuable sugges-
tions for making the message clearer.
Adler, P.A., Adler, P., 1988. Observational techniques. In:
Denzin, N.K., Lincoln, Y.S. (Eds.), Collecting and Interpreting
Qualitative Materials. Sage Publications Inc., Thousand Oaks,
London, New Delhi, pp. 79–109.
Barrosso, J., 1997. Social support and long-term survivors of
AIDS. Western Journal of Nursing Research 19 (5), 554–582.
Baxter, L.A., 1991. Content analysis. In: Montgomery, B.M.,
Duck, S. (Eds.), Studying Interpersonal Interaction. The
Guilford Press, New York, London, pp. 239–254.
Qualitative content analysis in nursing research 111
Berelson, B., 1952. Content Analysis in Communication Re- Download full-text
search. The Free Press, Glencoe, Illinois.
Berg, A., Welander Hansson, U., 2000. Dementia care nurses’
experiences of systematic clinical group supervision and
supervised planned nursing care. Journal of Nursing Manage-
ment 8 (6), 357–368.
Burnard, P., 1991. A method of analysing interview transcripts in
Burnard, P., 1996. Teaching the analysis of textual data: an
experiential approach. Nurse Education Today 16 (4),
Cavanagh, S., 1997. Content analysis: concepts, methods and
applications. Nurse Researcher 4 (3), 5–16.
Coffey, A., Atkinson, P., 1996. Making Sense of Qualitative Data.
Complementary Research Strategies. Sage Publications Inc.,
Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi.
Downe-Wamboldt, B., 1992. Content analysis: method, applica-
tions, and issues. Health Care for Women International 13
Feeley, N., Gottlieb, L.N., 1998. Classification systems for
health concerns, nursing strategies, and client outcomes:
nursing practice with families who have a child with chronic
illness. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research 30 (1), 45–59.
Findahl, O., H€ oijer, B., 1981. Text- och inneh? allsanalys. En
€ oversikt av n? agra analystraditioner. (Swedish) (Text- and
content analysis. A review of some analysis traditions). SR
Publik- och Programforskning, Stockholm.
Graneheim, U.H., Norberg, A., Jansson, L., 2001. Interaction
relating to privacy, identity, autonomy and security. An
observational study focusing on a women with dementia and
‘behavioural disturbances’, and on her care providers.
Journal of Advanced Nursing 36 (2), 256–265.
Guba, E.G., 1981. Annual review paper: criteria for assessing the
trustworthiness of naturalistic inquiries. Educational Com-
munication and Technology: A Journal of Theory, Research
and Development 29 (2), 75–91.
Kondracki, N.L., Wellman, N.S., Amundson, D.R., 2002. Content
analysis: review of methods and their applications in nutri-
tion education. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour
34 (4), 224–230.
Kovach, C.R., 1991. Content analysis of reminiscences of elderly
women. Research in Nursing & Health 14 (4), 287–295.
Krippendorff, K., 1980. Content Analysis. An Introduction to its
Methodology. The Sage Commtext Series, Sage Publications
Latter, S., Yerrell, P., Rycroft-Malone, J., Shaw, D., 2000.
Nursing, medication education and the new policy agenda:
the evidence base. International Journal of Nursing Studies
37 (6), 469–479.
Lichstein, P.R., Young, G., 1996. My most meaningful patient.
Reflective learning on a general medicine service. Journal of
General Internal Medicine 11 (7), 406–409.
Lincoln, Y.S., Guba, E.G., 1985. Naturalistic Inquiry. Sage
Publications Inc., Newbury Park, London, New Delhi.
Lundman, B., Norberg, A., 1993. Coping strategies in people
with Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. The Diabetes
Educator 19 (3), 198–204.
Long, T., Johnson, M., 2000. Rigour, reliability and validity
research. Clinical Effectiveness in Nursing 4 (1), 30–37.
Mertens, D.M., 1998. Research Methods in Education and
Psychology. Integrating Diversity with Quantitative and
Qualitative Approaches. Sage Publications Inc., Thousand
Oaks, London, New Delhi.
Mishler, E., 1986. Research Interviewing. Context and Narrative.
Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, London.
O’Brien, B., Relyea, J., Lidstone, T., 1997. Diary reports of
nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Clinical Nursing
Research 6 (3), 239–252.
Olson, M.S., Hinds, P.S., Eurell, K., Quargnenti, A., Milligan, M.,
Foppiano, P., Powell, B., 1998. Peak and nadir experiences
and their consequences described by pediatric oncology
nurses. Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing 15 (1), 13–24.
Patton, Q.M., 1987. How to use Qualitative Methods in Evalu-
ation. Sage Publications Inc., Newsbury Park, London, New
Patton, Q.M., 1990. Qualitative Evaluation and Research Meth-
ods, second ed. Sage Publications Inc., Newsbury Park,
London, New Dehli.
Polit, D.F., Hungler, B.P., 1991. Nursing Research. Principles
and Methods, fourth ed. J.B. Lippincott Company, Philadel-
phia, New York, Hagestown.
Polit, D.F., Hungler, B.P., 1999. Nursing Research. Principles
and Methods, sixth ed. J.B. Lippincott Company, Philadel-
phia, New York, Baltimore.
Sandelowski, M., 1993. Rigor or rigor mortis: the problem of
rigor in qualitative research revisited. Advances in Nursing
Science 16 (2), 1–8.
Sandelowski, M., 1998. Focus on qualitative methods. The call to
experts in qualitative research. Research in Nursing & Health
21 (5), 467–471.
Shields, L., King, S.J., 2001. Qualitative analysis of the care of
children in hospital in four countries. Part 1. Journal of
Pediatric Nursing 16 (2), 137–145.
S€ oderberg, S., Lundman, B., 2001. Transitions experienced by
women with fibromyalgia. Health Care for Women Interna-
tional 22 (7), 617–631.
van Manen, M., 1990. Researching Lived Experience. Human
Science for an Action Sensitive Pedagogy. The University of
Western Ontario, Ontario.
Watzlawick, P., Beavin Bavelas, J., Jackson, D.D., 1967.
Pragmatics of Human Communication. A Study of Interac-
tional Patterns, Pathologies and Paradoxes. W.W. Norton &
Company, New York, London.
Weber, R.P., 1990. Basic Content Analysis, second ed. Series:
Sage University Papers. Quantitative Applications in the
Social Sciences, vol. 49. Sage Publications Ltd., London.
Woods, N.F., Catanzaro, M., 1988. Nursing Research. Theory and
Practice. The C.V. Mosby Company, St. Louis, Washington
112 U.H. Graneheim, B. Lundman