Qualitative studies serve as a tool for dermatologists and researchers in dermatology to engage with and understand perspectives of populations with different cultures and backgrounds.
To assess (1) current approaches to qualitative dermatologic research and (2) the publication trends of these studies with the aim to inform researchers regarding qualitative research and its significance and applicability in the field of dermatology.
A scoping review was conducted in which PubMed and CINAHL Plus were searched using dermatology AND qualitative, dermatology, and 7 qualitative methods terms. Studies were selected for inclusion using 3 levels of screening. Level 1 excluded articles published in a language other than English. Level 2 excluded articles of studies involving mixed methods, quantitative methods, systematic review, and meta-analysis. Level 3 excluded articles that were not specific to general dermatology, medical dermatology, pediatric dermatology, dermatologic surgery, dermatopathology, or education and training associated with dermatology. Finally, all duplicates were removed. The searches were conducted from July 23 to 28, 2022. All articles obtained from PubMed and CINAHL Plus searches were recorded in REDCap.
A total of 1398 articles were reviewed, and of these, 249 (17.8%) were qualitative dermatology studies. Common qualitative methods included content analysis (58 [23.3%]) and grounded theory/constant comparison (35 [14.1%]). Individual interviews were the most common data collection method (198 [79.5%]), and patients (174 [69.9%]) were the most common participant type. Patient experience (137 [55.0%]) was the most common investigated topic. Overall, 131 qualitative studies (52.6%) in dermatology were published in dermatology journals, and 120 qualitative studies (48.2%) in dermatology were published between 2020 and 2022.
Conclusions and Relevance
Qualitative research in dermatology is becoming more prevalent. There is value in qualitative research, and we encourage researchers in dermatology to incorporate qualitative methods in their studies.
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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.
Accepted for Publication: March 3, 2023.
Published Online: April 26, 2023. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2023.0839
Corresponding Author: Lucinda L. Kohn, MD, MHS, Section of Pediatric Dermatology, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, University of Colorado School of Medicine, 13123 E 16th Ave, Mail Stop B570, Aurora, CO 80045 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Author Contributions: Ms Pascual and Dr Kohn had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Concept and design: Morris, Kohn.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.
Drafting of the manuscript: Pascual, Kohn.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Morris, Kohn.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Kohn.
Supervision: Morris, Kohn.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Ms Pascual reported a grant from the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.
Additional Contributions: We thank Anna Bruckner, MD, Children’s Hospital Colorado, for reviewing this manuscript and providing feedback. She was not compensated for her contributions.
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