A renewed urgency has emerged in the qualitative health research community concerning the utility of qualitative research. This urgency is the result of several converging trends in health care research, including the elevation of practical over basic knowledge, proliferation of qualitative health research studies, and the rise of evidence-based practice as a paradigm and methodology for health care. Diverse conceptualizations of use and users exist, and these have different implications for understanding, demonstrating, and enhancing the utility of qualitative research findings. Issues affecting the utilization of these findings include the varied ways in which they are conceived, presented, synthesized, signified, and translated, and the complex repertoire of skills required to activate the knowledge transformation cycle in qualitative health research fully.
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