A satisfactory research question often signifies the beginning point for many researchers. While this can be true for quantitative studies because of pre-defined research questions, qualitative research questions undergo series of revisions through a reflective process. This reflective process provides the framework for the subjectivity associated with qualitative inquiry. The continuous iterative reflective process is an essential component for developing qualitative research questions that correspond with the various qualitative study designs. Although qualitative inquiry is term exclusively subjective, there is a need to use a framework in developing qualitative research questions. The Emphasis- Purposeful sampling- Phenomenon of interest – Context (EPPiC) framework guides qualitative researchers in developing and revising qualitative research questions to suit a specific qualitative approach. This article addresses both the development of a research question using the “EPPiC framework” and demonstrate how to revise the “developed” research question to reflect two qualitative research design. I developed a qualitative research question for Sally Thorne’s Interpretive Description design using the EPPiC Framework and subsequently revised the research question to suit a grounded theory design.


Qualitative Inquiries, Reflexivity, Research Questions, EPPiC Framework, Interpretive Description, Grounded Theory

Author Bio(s)

Michael E Kalu is a physiotherapist. At the time of writing this article, he is a Ph.D. student at the School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: kalum@mcmaster.ca.


I want to acknowledge Dr. Susan Jack and Dr. Vanina Dal Bello-Haas for their mentorship during the period I wrote this manuscript. I would also want to thank the members of the Emerging Researchers and Professional in Ageing- African Network for their contribution in revising this manuscript.

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