Master's degree in Nursing and Obstetrics (Verona)

Planning and management of training processes - METODOLOGIA DELLA RICERCA QUALITATIVA

Course code
Name of lecturer
Luigina Mortari
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
LMSIO 2° ANNO 1° Semestre dal Oct 1, 2018 al Jan 18, 2019.

To show the organization of the course that includes this module, follow this link * Course organization

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course “Methodology of the qualitative research” is aimed at presenting and making health-care practitioners learn the necessary knowledge and competences to be aware of what is a research and to be able to project and conduct a qualitative research.

Knowledge and comprehension skills
At the end of the course the students should be able to:
• Know the essence of the epistemology of the qualitative research in health-care contexts;
• Know the specificity of the qualitative research in its paradigmatic, epistemological, philosophical and methodological aspects.
Knowledge and applied comprehension skills
At the end of the course the students should be able to:
• Project experiences of qualitative research contextualized in health care contexts;
Independent judgement (Autonomous assessments)
At the end of the course the students should have learned:
• The capacity to analyze qualitative research experiences in health care contexts, to identify its constitutive elements, strong points and criticalities in an improving perspective;
• The awareness of the ethical valence of a research action, i.e. assuming the responsibility of their epistemic choices.
Communicative skills
At the end of the course the students should be able to:
• Use a correct and specific language to describe an qualitative research;
• Communicate to the colleagues a specific choice for an qualitative research project and dialogue constructively about it;
• Communicate in social and public contexts the importance and quality of his/her own choices related to the approach of qualitative research;
• Document and present his/her inquiries, both in scientific and non-scientific contexts.

Learning skills
At the end of the course the students should be able to:
• Analyze the different modalities of qualitative research in order to come across the requirements of the different contexts;
• Collect the required sources to develop efficient qualitative research projects.


The course intends to argue that a practitioner, who doesn't live his/her own profession as a mere executive or technician role, should characterize his/her actions with the capacity to deeply read reality in order to propose changes. In other words the course will present the idea that research is a fundamental dimension for health care professions, since it is considered to be a style and a method able to offer a profound vision of the context and of the real needs of the people living and acting in it (patients, health care practitioners, relatives), and also of the entire environment or institution.
Different approaches to qualitative research will be presented, together with their related epistemological frameworks, philosophies, methods and instruments. In particular we will study in depth the approach characterized by the capacity:
• to enter people’s experience (phenomenological approach),
• to read the meanings that everybody elaborates personally (hermeneutical approach),
• to be within the web of real relationships and settings (ecological and naturalistic approach),
• to transform and improve the system in which he/she works (transformative research).

The course, alternating frontal lectures and laboratorial exercises, will deal with these arguments:
• theories of research in health care;
• qualitative methods;
• ecological paradigm, naturalistic epistemology and phenomenological-hermeneutical method;
• practices of research: instruments for data collection, interpretation, sharing and transformation.

Students will be requested to have the following pre-requisite:
• a bascial knowledge of paradigms and methods of the research in health care contexts.

During the course the students will be involved in laboratorial activities, so that they will be allowed to practice planning qualitative research experiences. This will allow them to face, in a direct or simulated way, all the epistemological, planning and ethical aspects of the qualitative research.
Also case studies (taken from the professional context) will be presented to students. Moreover, students will be required to work in team in order to simulate the planning of a qualitative research.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Luigina Mortari e Luisa Saiani Gesti e Pensieri di Cura McGraw-Hill 2013

Assessment methods and criteria

Written exam, with open questions. The discussion will test the personal study of the textbook and the student’s comprehension of the topics. Moreover the student will be asked to elaborate a personal research hypothesis, as a demonstration of his/her own personal reflection and project ability.
Students should prove that they:
• Have understood the relevant elements characterizing the qualitative research;
• Are able to present the specificity of qualitative research, with precision and clarity;
• Are able to critically analyze case studies and experiences.
Tests will be evaluated taking into consideration the correctness of contents, the capacity to communicate in an efficient way and the quality of written composition. Every question will be scored with points, whose total sum will compose the grade expressed in thirtieths.

The Italian textbook is also published in an English version:
• Mortari, L., & Saiani, L. (Eds). Gestures and thoughts of caring. New York-Boston: McGraw-Hill Education, 2014, pp. 200.

Futher references:
• Mortari, L. (2007). The ethic of delicacy in phenomenological research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being, 2007, 3(1), pp. 3-17.
• Mortari, L., & Silva, R. (2018). Words Faithful to the Phenomenon: A Discursive Analysis Method to Investigate Decision-Making Processes in the Intensive Care Unit. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 17(1),


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