Electronic mail (email) has become a ubiquitous form of global communication. Much of this discourse concerns the experience of health and illness. As it is stored and accessible via the Internet, it is then available for qualitative analysis by health researchers. In particular, researchers can employ document analysis methods using Internet communication such as email posts and archives. This paper outlines ways in which such research could proceed, including locating potential research sites and collecting and analysing data. In addition, the advantages and disadvantages of using documentary analysis of Internet communication in qualitative health research are explored.
- qualitative research