Innovative way of analysing qualitative data: the combined use of lexicometric and thematic analyses


  • A. Schweizer
  • S. Lesage
  • I. Gilles


Since 1990, there has been an increasing development of qualitative methods for analysing data in social and human sciences. Among them, thematic analysis remains a cornerstone of qualitative analysis methods, widespread used. However, they have been criticised for the lack of “scientificity†and a “subjectivity bias†in the process of categories elaboration. In the recent years, software program “Iramuteq†proposing to perform lexicometric analysis and to increase the validity and rigour of qualitative analysis was developed. Iramuteq restricts the impact of researcher’s subjectivity, in cutting out the thematic analysis meaning units by obtaining units of analysis based on formal criteria. In a research focused on the workload and stress experienced by paramedics in Switzerland, we used these two analysis methods in combination (thematic analysis followed by lexicometric analysis assisted by Iramuteq software). This computer-assisted analysis produced results that were compatible with our thematic analysis and provided further information. The combined use of these two methods adds a greater value to the development of knowledge about people experiencing health / illness. However, it requires the need of reflexive adjustments by the researcher at each stage of the research.