Systematic Data Integration—A Method for Combined Analyses of Field Notes and Interview Texts

  • Anita Strøm Associate Professor Lovisenberg Diaconal University College Oslo, Norway
  • May Solveig Fagermoen Associate Professor Institute of Health and Society University of Oslo Oslo, Norway


Accepted methods of analysis might be viewed as inadequate for analytical work on field notes and interview transcriptions when the aim is to analyze these as a complete body of material. The purpose of this article is to present a new method for systematic data integration in which the key component is the interweaving of observation data and interview data derived from sequences of interactive situations. The method has been developed in a study where groups of user representatives and professionals collaborated for some time on planning, implementing, and evaluating patient education programmes. The article briefly presents the study on which the method is based, after which the Systematic Data Integration method is introduced with examples from the study. The method entails analytical work on field notes and interview transcriptions, during which raw data and preliminary analysis results are integrated. It will be argued that interweaving the data clarifies the complementarity of the types of data and increases transparency for further theoretical analyses and interpretation. In addition, the interweaving contributes to ensuring quality in choosing quotations used to illustrate and emphasize the study’s findings..