Colaizzi's method of data analysis is an approach to interpreting qualitative research data, often in medicine and the social sciences, to identify meaningful information and organize it into themes or categories. The approach follows seven data analysis steps.
Qualitative research uses surveys with open-ended questions or loosely structured interviews to uncover how people think and feel in certain situations, such as becoming a first-time father or undergoing chemotherapy. A researcher can apply Colaizzi's seven steps to analyze the data collected in a survey or interview.
In the first step, the researcher reads a description of each person participating in the study to gain a sense of the participants. Next, the researcher extracts statements with significance to the research question, such as descriptions of how a first-time father feels about caring for a newborn. To reflect the research data accurately, the significant statements should be direct quotations from the participants. To analyze the significant statements, the researcher begins to articulate what the statements mean and creates themes from the meanings. The researcher groups similar themes together and organizes them into categories. Finally, the researcher integrates the results into a comprehensive description of the topic and returns to each participant to verify the results.