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Sampling in qualitative research: basic principles and some controversies

This paper presents the rationale for the choice of participants in qualitative research in contrast with that of probability sampling principles in epidemiological research. For a better understanding of the differences, concepts of nomothetic and ideographic generalizability, as well as those of transferability and reflexivity, are proposed, Fundamentals of the main types of sampling commonly used in qualitative research, and the meaning of the concept of saturation are mentioned. Finally, some reflections on the controversies that have arisen in recent years on various paradigmatic perspectives from which to conduct qualitative research, their possibilities of combination with epidemiological research, and some implications for the study of health issues are presented.

Sampling in qualitative research; Epidemiology and qualitative research; Qualitative health research; Critical epidemiology

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