Netnography: A novel methodology for nursing research

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Aim: The aim of this paper is to critically reflect on our team's experience of using netnography to explore vaccine-hesitant parents and pregnant women, a group who have traditionally been difficult to recruit to research studies and a methodology that is underutilized in nursing research. 

Design: This paper takes the form of a discussion paper that will utilize data obtained from a qualitative netnographic study. Relevant literature was searched including 2015–2023. 

Method: This paper utilized data obtained from a qualitative study that used netnography as methodology and an online minable data source. Netnography is a relatively new methodology that uses the online environment to explore digital cultures and study networked society. It pays particular attention to cultural insights and conditions that impact the human experience. This methodology is particularly relevant to nursing research which is often humanistic and always conducted to ensure optimal patient outcomes. 

Results: Using netnography for the first time has resulted in four main insights. These include the adaptability of the process; the creativity involved in designing the site; the ready acceptance of the site by participants and the co-creation knowledge that resulted. 

Conclusions: Netnography is a creative methodology that was successful in accessing and engaging the vaccine-hesitant community, a group who are often marginalized. Netnography has the advantage of using a platform that is familiar and safe for many people and provides access to an extensive minable data source.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4207-4217
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number11
Early online date18 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • cyberculture
  • netnography
  • parents
  • social media
  • vaccine hesitancy


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