Commentary | Volume 17 Number 3: 0 | 27 Nov 2022

Rightful place of qualitative research in family medicine and healthcare


Evidence-based medicine is the foundation of current medical practice. Suitable evidence is needed to support the holistic approach in clinical practice. Quantitative research produces some evidence needed for disease treatment based on probabilities or averages. However, the practice of evidence-based medicine should be personalised to individual patients without relying solely on an average perspective. Beliefs, values and expectations are unique for each individual and may differ significantly from the average. Therefore, understanding individual differences requires evidence from qualitative research. This is particularly important in family medicine practice, which focuses on holistic care for the person, family and community. Findings from properly conducted qualitative research can offer in-depth and comprehensive accounts on healthcare issues from patient and practice perspectives. Qualitative research also
provides explanatory power and analytical transferability, which can be applied into daily family medicine practice. In conclusion, evidence from qualitative research should be rightfully equally acknowledged in family medicine and healthcare.