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Kylie Porritt, Alan Pearson

Evidence for practice has increasingly influenced and contributed to the improvement of care over the past few decades. While evidence for practice appears to be an integral component to decision making in healthcare practice, it has historically been dominated by the results of quantitative research. All other forms of research, specifically qualitative research, have, it can be argued, been marginalized.

This book reviews the degree to which qualitative research, specifically qualitative systematic review, is valued within the domain of evidence-based practice by examining and exploring contemporary debates on the nature of evidence and the place of qualitative research findings in evidence based healthcare. It is based on a discursive analyze informed by the work of Foucault (1972) by one of the authors of this book.

We have set out to discursively analyze contemporary discourses surrounding the topic (as presented in the extant literature) to uncover competing discourses and the interests they represent; and to develop and clarify the nature, relevance, and validity of qualitative research findings in relation to their use as a basis for evidence-based practice.