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Applying Grounded Theory to Midwifery Research Problems

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Grounded theory focuses on human behavior and perceptions and the factors that influence them. Through an inductive research approach, it facilitates the development of theories directly from data and is particularly useful when little is known about the area of interest. Grounded theory is an ideal research approach for exploring how midwives and women interact and to examine the factors that mediate their decision making in clinical practice. Although grounded theorists take diverse approaches, the method is characterized by several key features. The following discussion considers the major tenets and how they may be applied in a midwifery context. Specific examples are drawn from a grounded theory study to illustrate the relevant points throughout the article. Midwives are encouraged to take up the challenge of research and should consider grounded theory as a useful approach for examining behavior in a maternity context.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/2156-5287.2.2.136

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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  • The International Journal of Childbirth is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal publishing original research, reviews, and case studies concerned with the practice of midwifery, women's health, prenatal care, and the birth process. The journal encourages the exploration of the complex and contextual issues surrounding childbirth provision and outcomes and invites manuscripts from a wide range of clinical, theoretical, political, methodological, psychological, public health, policy, and multicultural and interdisciplinary perspectives.
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