The Contribution of Qualitative Methodologies to Rural Health Research: An Analysis of the Development of a Study of the Health and Well-Being
Understanding the influence of rural social determinants on health can contribute to alleviating disparities between the health of urban and rural populations. Qualitative methodologies have made a substantial contribution to our understanding of rural health issues. However, there are few published case studies of the process of designing qualitative studies which can contribute to a better understanding of how to conduct and evaluate qualitative research. This paper adds to the methodological literature by describing the process of developing a methodology for a study of how women in remote areas achieve health and well-being. In the paper the author documents the process and illustrates an individual’s search for a method that would suit her research problem and her personal and professional ideology. Metaethnography, constructivist grounded theory, and dialogic/performance narrative methods are identified as a qualitative methods particularly suited to health and other areas of rural social research.