Research in speech-language pathology is experimental and data-driven, as a rule. Qualitative research is an altogether different methodology. Its current vocabulary emphasizes codesign, reciprocity, individual experience and context. A new article in the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (Hersh D, et al., 2022 Oct;24(5):449-459. doi: 10.1080/17549507.2022.2029942) explores the relationship between qualitative inquiry in the field of speech-language pathology and innovation. Summarizing contemporary qualitative approaches in SLP, the authors explain the notion of innovation, and review the utility of qualitative research in theoretical, methodological, and practice innovation. What emerges is a picture in which qualitative inquiry plays a robust part in enhancing translation and implementation of research innovations. It is not a replacement for experimental method, of course, but it offers a useful complement, and indeed has elicited new theoretical structures of thought, and new ways of delivering SLP intervention.
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