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Importance Of Transferability In Qualitative Research

Transferability refers to the extent to which the results of qualitative research can be generalized to different settings. The quality of qualitative research is determined by measuring the transferability of the research findings. Qualitative research is increasingly used in nursing research, and there is a need to maintain its quality here. One way of doing this is to increase the transferability of the research and apply it in broad settings. This paper will discuss the importance of transferability in qualitative research and the way in which a researcher can apply this specifically in nursing research.

Transferability in qualitative research is enhanced by the description of the research context as well as assumptions that are fundamental to the research. This is the reason that qualitative research takes into account the small population, and an effort is required to generalize the results of qualitative research (Leung, 2015). It is the same concept in qualitative research as external validity is in quantitative research. Moreover, it is crucial to apply research findings from one setting to another. Most organizations rely on some small research and apply that in a larger context. Thus, it is necessary to state the range to which results may or may not be relevant. The detailed descriptions of results make them perfect for transferability.

If the same problem is being investigated by another researcher, then transferability allows for the same conclusions. Transferability can be applied to most types of research, but it does not involve wide-ranging claims (Leung, 2015). In terms of transferability, the researcher cannot prove that the results of the study are applicable in wide-ranging situations, but he can only provide proof of the study’s applicability. For transferability, there is a need for similarities and differences in different settings, and for this purpose, the researcher needs to gather enough detailed descriptions of different contexts.


Leung, L. (2015). Validity, reliability, and generalizability in qualitative research. Journal of family medicine and primary care4(3), 324.



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