Qualitative methods in implementation research: An introduction

Alison B. Hamilton, Erin P. Finley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

393 Scopus citations


Qualitative methods are a valuable tool in implementation research because they help to answer complex questions such as how and why efforts to implement best practices may succeed or fail, and how patients and providers experience and make decisions in care. This article orients the novice implementation scientist to fundamentals of qualitative methods and their application in implementation research, describing: 1) implementation-related questions that can be addressed by qualitative methods; 2) qualitative methods commonly used in implementation research; 3) basic sampling and data collection procedures; and 4) recommended practices for data analysis and ensuring rigor. To illustrate qualitative methods decision-making, a case example is provided of a study examining implementation of a primary care-based collaborative care management model for women Veterans with anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112516
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Ethnography
  • Evaluation
  • Evidence-based practices
  • Focus groups
  • Knowledge translation
  • Semi-structured interviews
  • Translational research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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