Content Analysis


Meet Dr Diana Contreras, who works on post-disaster recovery and resilience, who uses sentiment analysis for post-disaster recovery assesment.

Meet Lydia Wysocki, who is interested in sociocultural theory of learning, which she explores through critical discourse analysis using comics

Developed initially as a quantitative method, it has since developed into one of the most commonly applied qualitative research methods to analyse textual data and communication artefacts such as websites, newspapers, speeches, diaries, or interview transcripts. As a quantitative or conceptual analysis technique, it quantifies the occurrence and frequency of certain words, explicit or implicit concepts or meanings within a written text. As a qualitative or relational analysis, it entails more than a mere counting process of text passages. Instead, it identifies and analyses meaning and relationships within textual data in a replicable and systematic manner. Therefore, both conceptual and relational content analysis results in different findings, conclusions, and interpretations.

 Content analysis is both an unobtrusive and cost-effective research method that can be conducted inductively or deductively depending on the study’s purpose. It follows a well-defined rule-guided procedure enabling novice researchers to understand the approach quickly. Consequently, it is used widely across different fields, including education, health science, political and cultural studies, history, leadership studies, and marketing. Computer-assisted analysis can be used to simplify the analysis process. In addition to generic qualitative programs, including Nvivo or MAXQDA, QCAmap has been developed explicitly for Content Analysis.



Ahmed, W., Jagsi, R., Gutheil, GT., Katz, SM. (2020) Public Disclosure of Identifiable Patient Information by Health Professionals on Social Media: A Content Analysis of Twitter Data. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(9), e19746.

  • The objective of this study was to quantify potentially identifiable content shared on social media by physicians and other health care providers using the hashtag #ShareAStoryInOneTweet.

Beck, AC., Campbell, D., Shrives, P.  (2010) Content analysis in environmental reporting research: enrichment and rehearsal of the method in a British-German context. British Accounting Review, 42(3), 207-222.

  • In this study, content analysis method is expanded to provide measures of information diversity, information content and volume.

Beenstock, J., Sowden, S., Hunter, DJ., & White, M. (2015). Are health and well-being strategies in England fit for purpose? A thematic content analysis. Journal of Public Health, 37(3), 461–469.

  • A qualitative documentary analysis conducted from a ‘Realist’ viewpoint using thematic content analysis.

Papworth, MA., Milne, D., & Boak, G. (2009) An exploratory content analysis of situational leadership. Journal of Management Development 28(7), 593-606.

  • Eight interviews are subjected to in‐depth content analysis to investigate the validity of aspects of the Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership model.

Simpson E, Garbett A, Comber R, Balaam, M. (2016) Factors important for women who breastfeed in public: a content analysis of review data from FeedFinder. BMJ Open, 6:e011762.

  • Reviews obtained through FeedFinder over a period of 21 months were systematically coded using a conventional content analysis approach.


Bengtsson, M. (2016) How to plan and perform a qualitative study using content analysis. NursingPlus Open, 2, 8–14.

Erlingsson, C. & Brysiewicz, P. (2017) A hands-on guide to doing content analysis. African Journal of Emergency Medicine, 7, 93–99.

Hsie, HF. & Shannon, SE. (2005) Three Approaches to Qualitative Content Analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277-1288.

Kuckartz, U. (2019) Qualitative Content Analysis: From Kracauer’s Beginnings to Today’s Challenges. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung, 20(3), Art. 3.