Research is Exploratory, research is completed in a person or group’s natural environment, uses ‘how’ and ‘why’ things happen, interactive between researcher and the one being studied, information is subjective
Post a thoughtful response to at least two (2) other colleagues’ initial postings. Responses to colleagues should be supportive and helpful (examples of an acceptable comment are: “This is interesting – in my practice, we treated or resolved (diagnosis or issue) with (x, y, z meds, theory, management principle) and according to the literature…” and add supportive reference. Avoid comments such as “I agree” or “good comment.”
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|Qualitative Methods||Quantitative Methods|
|Research is Exploratory, research is completed in a person or group’s natural environment, uses ‘how’ and ‘why’ things happen, interactive between researcher and the one being studied, information is subjective||Research completed in numerical form, uses closed-ended questions/yes or no questions, uses statistics to provide a synopsis, information is objective, uses larger sample sizes|
|Uses personal experience to guide the research||Uses theory to guide the research|
The objective of this discussion is to first, compare and contrast qualitative and quantitative research, and secondly, to provide one example of each to study a health-care related topic. For example, to study why recommended laboratory tests are not completed by patients, when taking certain medications that can cause harm, a researcher can use both methods of research to complete the study (Fischer et al., 2013, p. 513).
An example of a qualitative approach would be to interview a group of patients who have not completed recommended laboratory testing, and simply asking ‘why’. Since the information received during qualitative research is subjective, there may be several different answers to the question. While working as a nurse at a psychiatrist’s office, I learned that insurance companies require certain labs to be drawn to check for damage to the liver and kidneys, for instance. If the labs were not drawn then the insurance would no longer pay for that particular medication. In my experience, it was common for patients to say that they either forgot to go to the lab or maybe lose the lab order altogether.
If the researcher decides to use a quantitative approach, they may interview a group of patients and get a numerical value of the ones who did not show for the testing vs. the ones who did complete the testing. A table could then be created, labeling the top reasons why testing was not completed and the numerical value of patients that gave those specific answers.
In conclusion, the predominant difference in the two types of research is that qualitative study wants to explain a certain experience, while quantitative study wants to use statistics to answer a question (LoBiondo -Wood & Haber, 2014, p. 9). While we have looked at both studies as individuals, there are many research studies that have been accomplished best by using both approaches.
Fischer, S. H., Field, T. S., Gagne, S. J., Mazor, K. M., Preusse, P., Reed, G., … Tija, J. (2013, April 1). Patient Completion of Laboratory Tests to Monitor Medication Therapy: A Mixed-Methods Study. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 28(4), 513-521. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-012-2271-6
|QUANTITATIVE METHODS||QUALITATIVE METHODS|
|Hypotheses are stated or implied, random or specific study group with a common similarity uses variables and outcomes.||Driven by people’s thoughts, reactions, perceptions, and experiences. Uses focus groups, interviews, recording behavior, and unstructured observation|
|Variables are measured by instruments or scales; measurable, uses numbers; statistical analyses are used||Not measurable; uses ideas, is interpretive, narrative descriptions, words. Lacks statistical testing|
|Uses deductive reasoning, comprehensive, uses a large number of participants||Uses inductive reasoning, specific, uses a small number of participants|
|Objective- observes but doesn’t participate||Subjective- involved as a participant observer|
|The term “random” or “convenience” is mentioned in the relation to the sample. Also uses case-controlled, clinical trial, experimental group, structured, control group.||Uses the terms ethnographic study, field notes, field research, focus group, observation, open ended, and phenomenological|
Example of a qualitative approach would be studying the experience of those spouses of Alzheimer’s patients whom had to be placed in a nursing facility. Example of a quantitative approach would be studying the number of falls of Alzheimer’s patients living at home have versus those who are living at a nursing facility over a six month period.
Chrisman, J., Jordan, R., Davis, C., & Williams, W. (2014). Exploring evidence-based practice research. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, 8-12. doi:DOI- 10.1097/01.NME.0000450295.93626.e7
Coates, V. (2014). Qualitative research: A source of evidence to inform nursing practice? Journal Of Diabetes Nursing, 8, 9th ser., 329-334. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
LoBiondo-Wood, G., & Haber, J. (2006). Nursing research: Methods, critical appraisal, and utilization. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.