Ten Key Steps to Writing a Protocol for a Qualitative Research Study: A Guide for Nurses and Health Professionals

  •  Evridiki Kaba    
  •  Areti Stavropoulou    
  •  Martha Kelesi    
  •  Aikaterini Triantafyllou    
  •  Aspasia Goula    
  •  Georgia Fasoi    


Writing a well-structured research protocol is a critical component of any research activity. It is a demanding task that requires rigor and strenuous effort especially for the novice researchers in all disciplines. The aims of the present paper are a) to demonstrate the key steps required towriting a protocol for a qualitative research study b) to assist nurses and other health professionals in effectively developing protocols on qualitative research. For this purpose, an example qualitative research protocol was used entitled “Investigating nurses’ views on care of mentally ill patients with skin injuries”. This protocol was chosen because it provides a reasonable model of proposing a qualitative research design within the field of nursing. Results of this process led to the development of a 10 key-step guide to writing a protocol for a qualitative research study. A thorough analysis of how each step of the protocol must be undertaken and accomplished is presented and supported by the relevant literature. This paper provides an informative guide for novice researchers and/or nurse students, on how to develop successful protocols on qualitative research studies that guide research and decision making in naturalistic settings.

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