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Compare and Contrast Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Data Analysis
Wordcount: 4346 words Published: 18th Oct 2021

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The main aim of the essay presented is to fully describe the similarities and differences evident in quantitative and qualitative research method. As described by Tingen et al. (2009) research has a great impact on the already existing and dynamics of the nursing profession. Research creates a platform and a basis to generate new knowledge that in turn improves nursing practice. This is in line with the initiative “improving general practice: A call to action” (NHS, 2014). This essay will describe various steps, aims, components and the general pattern of research process (Morgan, 2007).

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As described by Field (2011), the major purpose of research is to generate new ideas, broaden existing information and validate facts in order to improve practice. A further review into the report of nursing committee (Briggs report), nursing practices should be a testimonial with facts so as to make the quality of care better for patients and the entire population (ICN, 2009). Research method refers to all systems and strategies used by a researcher in a research process. It is made up of both the quantitative and qualitative method (Kathari, 2004). A quantitative research is an organised approach used to enumerate variables (Wayne, 2010). Groove (2005) also defined a quantitative research as a methodical, coordinated and official process that uses statistical approach in the gathering, scrutinizing, interpretation and demonstration of data. On the Contrary, Carter and Thomas (2005) defined a qualitative research as a systematic but amorphous method that uses descriptive or recount approaches in collection, reviewing, elaboration and exhibition of data. It is often referred to as a primary experimental research that is used to comprehend a given fact or underlying impression it also reviews an idea and perception, which sets a concept to be reviewed in a potential quantitative study (Wyse, 2011). Despite the differences in the meaning of a quantitative and qualitative research, they are both methods that follow a systems and processes. They both consider all the aspects of a research process such as the approach and plan. This is best described with the definition of research as an organised and rigorous process (Kaplain, 2015).

The main features in a quantitative research includes the use of a problem solving technique. It is frequently referred as a deductive approach. This is mainly because it works on a theory; it examines a phenomena until it derives into a conclusion (Gabriel, 2013). A quantitative research often tries to examine experiments to explain its thesis showing link between a cause and effect which are also known as independent and dependant variables (Shields and Alison, 2005). On the other hand a qualitative research applies a different form of reasoning. Qualitative researches tend to organise their methods through divergent and inductive reasoning; its main aim is to create a new set of pillars that are used for a quantitative research. This method begins with an observation, develops a system, creates a thesis statement to support its theory and concludes based on numerous factors and ideas. This type of research explains in detail the meaning of variables rather than showing the link between them (Sanders et al., 2007). There is however a different point of view, Thomas and James (2006) states that the key aim of a quantitative research is not only based on experimenting a theory developed by a qualitative research but it could also develop its theory from the researcher’s predictions.

Truncellito (2007) states that the significance of existence of knowledge and existence of truth/fact) on the sample of a studies. It consists of positivism and interpretism. A quantitative studies is based on positivism; it's far goal in nature because it generates knowledge and reality from single idea and prediction from the researcher, empirical confirmation and experimentation. On the other hand, a qualitative studies is primarily based on interpretism; it's far subjective in nature drawing its understanding from deciphering a couple of perspectives of humans’s experiences, behaviour and information of their natural surroundings with little or no prediction from the researcher (Myres, 2008; Collins, 2010).

Literature review is a totally essential factor of a research method because it gives a radical understanding of a research problems (Schmelzer, 2008). It is also extensive in nursing exercise because it helps in the validation, comparison and enhancement of affected person care, that's in step with the UK authorities’ coverage “Essence of care” that encourages the use of bench-marking via nurses with the intention to compare and improve practice (DH, 2010). Both the quantitative and qualitative studies method reviews literature, but completed in unique ways; at the same time as a quantitative researcher evaluations literature in detail before taking off a examine (Halloway, 2008); a qualitative researcher briefly opinions literature at the beginning of a study (Wheelers and Holloway, 2010). However opposing this opinion, Silverman (2010) argues that a qualitative researcher should rather assessment similar literature after information evaluation to be able to reduce probabilities of having biased effects for the reason that researchers thought can be prompted that is termed “Experimental bias”. Research literature consists of complicated words; hence each a quantitative and a qualitative research method validate the significance of operational definitions a good way to promote knowledge of the readers (Cherry, 2015).

A quantitative research is carried out in an experimental/managed surroundings which guarantees accuracy of result (Anderson, 2006); contradicting this view, Jones (2015) is of the opinion that a quantitative research could be biased since it isn't always carried out in a practical environment. On the other hand, a qualitative studies is also referred to as a naturalistic science due to the fact its miles performed inside the herbal placing of the subjects. This equips the researcher with the information of factors that might affect the research study, which will be socio-economical consisting of; bad training and illiteracy. People from such history may not be capable of deal with the research procedure that is linked with the broader determinants of fitness as defined by way of Dahlgren and Whitehead (1991). Research done in a natural placing is very essential in nursing practice as it improves the understanding of nurses at the individual stories of their patients and allows the nurse to reflect in and on movement (Schon, 1983) to expand techniques to improve patient’s enjoy of care. This is in line with “enhancing the patient and patron enjoy” (DH, 2013).

Sampling technique refers to approach used in selecting a pattern length while a pattern length refers back to the organization of people selected to participate in a research. The predominant sampling strategies are; probability and non-opportunity sampling method (McLeod, 2014); a quantitative studies selects its sample length the usage of the possibility sampling approach to be able to achieve results that may be generalized to the populace. Types of opportunity approach consists of; systematic, easy random and stratified sampling approach (Explorable, 2009). A qualitative studies however, uses non-chance sampling approach such as snowballing, quota, comfort/purposive sampling strategies. However, Barbie (2013) argues that some non-chance sampling techniques also can be utilized by a quantitative research. The sample length of a quantitative studies is big ranging from a hundred-a thousand and above (Hopkins, 2008) at the same time as that of a qualitative studies is incredibly small starting from 20-30 (Polit et., 2001). However, Mason (2010) argues that a researcher should select as many pattern size as feasible till he receives to a saturation point because a few qualitative outcomes may be generalized. From a specific opinion, Jackson (2012) shows that a minimum sample size of 10 is accurate in view that a qualitative research best sets a speculation and cannot be generalised.

A quantitative studies is a scientific, dependent and rigid form of studies that uses Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for records series. Contrarily, despite the fact that a qualitative research is systematic, it's miles bendy and makes use of an unstructured tool for records collection. Therefore, for the duration of interviews questions can be diverted relying at the reaction of the members (Belmont et al., 2010). A quantitative studies makes use of correlative and experimental method (Shields and Alison, 2005) that's an indispensable aspect of nursing practice as it allows the nurse to understand the connection between an independent (reason) and a based (effect) variable. For instance an experiment can be performed to pick out the connection among lung most cancers (structured variable) and smoking (unbiased variable). This agrees with the opinion of Webb (2010) which emphasizes on the relevance of proof-based practice in the nursing profession. In opposite, a qualitative research approach is centred on the use of ethnographical, phenomenological technique and case take a look at, which is also applicable in nursing practice as it permits nurses to be familiar with the individual experiences and wishes in their sufferers (Kozma and Anderson, 2002).

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Ethical attention is of paramount importance in each quantitative and qualitative research technique. It is consequently important to attain an informed consent from studies contributors setting into attention the 4 moral concepts which are; autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence and justice (Beauchamp and Childress, 2009). This objectives at treating individuals with equity and related to them in each decision making manner throughout the research; as supported by way of “Liberating the NHS: No decision about me, without me” (DH, 2012). In each strategies, participants are allowed to make their very own choice and each statistics amassed at some point of the research manner is guarded with strict confidentiality. This is supported by using the Helsinki declaration (NIH, 2012), Data Protection Act (DH, 1988) and the statistics protection guidelines which states that a research information should be kept “in a locked safe drawer, in a locked room, in a locked building” and all electronic devices used for a studies work need to be constructed to a covered design (Penn state, 2014). Methods of records series in a quantitative research encompass; survey, based interview and non-participant observation even as a qualitative research makes use of participant commentary, unstructured interview and attention organization discussion (Bamberger, 2000). Although interview is utilized by each strategies, a quantitative studies makes use of a specific or close ended query which requires a “yes/no” solution; while a qualitative research on the other hand, uses an open ended query which lets in members to speak about their emotions in details (Lodio et., 2010). However, Raja et al. (2003) suggests that the use of an open ended questionnaire is handiest because it affords the researcher with wealthy facts. Opposing this statement, Gatton and Jones (2004) is of the opinion that a near ended questionnaire is the high-quality because it enables to govern the respondents, saves time and calls for fewer abilities.

Raw data in a quantitative studies is represented in a non-textual or numerical form; these statistics are analyzed statistically and presented the use of graph, plot bins, charts, figures and tables. On the opposite, uncooked facts in qualitative studies are represented in textual content; they're analysed via being grouped into classes (coding). Analysed facts are offered in topics and subthemes descriptively (Belmont et., 2010).  Contradicting this opinion, Unite for Sight (2010) stated that a qualitative studies can also be quantified to a point which includes, categorizing the percentage of participants in a research. Both the quantitative and qualitative methods makes use of coding but it is essential to notice that at the same time as quantitative makes use of scores and numbers to code, qualitative uses issues and sub issues (Monett et al., 2014). According to Brown (2006) generalizability is the degree to which a studies end result may be extended to the overall populace. Findings of a quantitative research may be generalized due to its objectivity and the use of a massive sample size that can be representative of the overall populace, and is the reason validity (truth or factuality) and reliability (consistency) of the end result (Thomas, 2005); but the use of a small sample length ought to affect the generalizability of a quantitative studies (Katsirikou and Skiadas, 2011). In comparison, findings of a qualitative studies gives insight to a hassle and does now not speak about fact subsequently, it cannot be generalized because of its subjectivity and the usage of a highly small pattern size which isn't always representative of the overall population (Barbie, 2013). However, William (2008) is of the opinion that the findings of a qualitative studies can be generalized if it possess 4 traits; credibility, transferability, conformability and dependability, alongside with a huge sample length.

Dissemination of findings is continually the conclusion of a studies manner, both studies strategies disseminates findings through generation together with net, books, journals and social media; to enhance practice and suggest areas for advice and optimistic criticism (RCN, 2015). According to Wheelers and Holloway (2010) nurses should combine both techniques in exercise (Triangulation) because it results in effectiveness of care. While qualitative studies technique offers nurses with an in-depth knowledge in their patient’s reports, behaviour and attitude, quantitative studies on the other hand, lets in the nurse to quantify those stories. For instance, a qualitative studies permits the nurse to pick out sufferers self-care wishes, whereas a quantitative studies reveals the causes, impact and extent of self-care deficit.  This can be connected with the Dorothy Orem’s self-care principle (Orem’s, 1959).

In end, despite the fact that the quantitative and qualitative research approach have their weaknesses, additionally they possess their strengths; therefore none is superior to the other and must each be utilized in nursing practice to decorate effectiveness (Burke and Larry, 2012). A qualitative research develops a theory for a quantitative research to experiment on; even as a qualitative studies validates these theories therefore they work simultaneously to improve practice (Barrett, 2012). Nursing studies need to be globalized so that you can make sure professional increase and improve health care delivery international (DH, 2008). Reflectively, writing this essay has broadened the knowledge of the writer on the significance of qualitative and quantitative research techniques and the way they can be incorporated into nursing exercise to enhance expert growth (Rolfe, 2001).


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