Qualitative Story Completion: Opportunities and Considerations for Health Research

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Qualitative story completion (QSC) is an innovative research method that offers researchers a range of unique opportunities for generating and analysing data. Participants are asked to write a ‘story’ in response to a hypothetical ‘story stem’, often in the third-person and involving fictional characters, rather than reporting on their direct experiences. QSC is being developed and increasingly taken up by researchers working across a range of fields; but it has been little used in health research, especially in the fields of nursing, health services research, medicine, and allied health. This means that health researchers have few examples to draw on when considering what QSC can offer them and how to rigorously design, conduct, and report a QSC study within health-related fields. We aim to address this gap and contribute to existing QSC literature by promoting increased use of QSC by health researchers and supporting them to produce rigorous QSC research. We outline three case examples illustrating how we have used QSC to conduct multidisciplinary health research relevant to nursing, medicine and nutrition. Drawing on these case examples, we reflect on challenges that we encountered, describe decision-making processes, and offer recommendations for conducting rigorous health research using QSC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-355
Number of pages11
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023


  • allied health
  • comparative design
  • creative methods
  • data collection
  • methodology
  • nursing
  • research design


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