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Using Blogs as a Qualitative Health Research Tool: A Scoping Review

Wilson, Elena; Kenny, Amanda; Dickson-Swift, Virginia

International journal of qualitative methods. Volume 14:Issue 5 (2015, December) -- SAGE Publications Inc

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  • Title:
    Using Blogs as a Qualitative Health Research Tool: A Scoping Review
  • Author: Wilson, Elena;
    Kenny, Amanda;
    Dickson-Swift, Virginia
  • Found In: International journal of qualitative methods. Volume 14:Issue 5 (2015, December)
  • Journal Title: International journal of qualitative methods
  • Subjects: Qualitative Research--Periodicals; Qualitative research--Periodicals; Social sciences--Philosophy--Periodicals; Social sciences--Research--Periodicals; Social sciences--Statistical methods--Periodicals; Periodicals; Qualitative research; Social sciences--Philosophy; Social sciences--Research; blogs--health research--qualitative research--qualitative methods--data collection; Dewey: 300.72
  • Rights: legaldeposit
  • Publication Details: SAGE Publications Inc
  • Abstract:

    The global increase in and prevalence of social media is stimulating interest in the utilisation of blogs for research purposes. There is, however, a significant lack of information about the manner and scope of blog use in health research. In this scoping review, we aimed to identify how blogs are being used in health research to date and whether blogging has potential as a useful qualitative tool for data collection. Our purpose was to summarize the extent, range, and nature of research activity using blogs. In our scoping review key search terms were developed and applied to selected databases with 44 relevant studies identified. Studies were examined for the inclusion of blog use in their methods and descriptions of the manner in which they were used. While blogs were used in a variety of ways, the majority of identified studies used blogs for data collection, mostly as one method within a set of data collection methods and primarily for gathering information about experiences, perceptions, and feelings. We identified themes related to the blog's function, the health issue or topic focus, and sampling categories. Our review demonstrated that blogs have potential as a qualitative health research tool for a range of purposes, including data collection. Blogs have particular application for researchers accessing populations beyond their physical reach. Given the global commitment to research for improvements to health and health equity, this review is an essential first step to embark on future qualitative health research using blogs.


  • Identifier: System Number: LDEAvdc_100065209948.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 1609-4069; 10.1177/1609406915618049
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): ELD Digital store

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