Concept analysis in nursing research: a critical appraisal.

J. M. Morse, Judith Hupcey, C. Mitcham, E. R. Lenz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


The four major methodological approaches to concept analysis (Wilson-derived methods, qualitative methods, critical analysis of the literature, and quantitative methods) are compared. The authors suggest that qualitative methods and methods that critically analyze the literature may be selected according to the level of the maturity of the concept and the purpose of the analysis. These methods have the ability to facilitate inquiry for concept development, delineation, comparison, clarification, correction, and identification. Quantitative methods may be used for exploring concepts (e.g., delineating conceptual boundaries), and quantitative instrumentation may be used for concept validation, operationalization, and measurement, thus complementing concept analysis methods by moving inquiry into another level of investigation. The authors conclude by presenting criteria for the selection of an appropriate research approach for concept analysis and criteria for evaluating concept analysis research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-277
Number of pages25
JournalScholarly inquiry for nursing practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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