The theoretical foundations of qualitative and quantitative methods

 Topic 5 DQ 1

The difference between qualitative research and quantitative research is that qualitative research is a means to study and assign meaning to subjective life experiences, whereas quantitative research is a means of mathematically proving relationships exist between variables. Quantitative designs are most often used to test conceptual models and understand the relationships between variables, establish the effectiveness of a particular treatment, or measure the opinions or views of a particular group whereas qualitative approach aims to develop an in-depth understanding of the social phenomenon. Combination of both quantitative and qualitative research techniques is called mixed methods research and it has its advantages and disadvantages.

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Mixed‐methods research is well placed to investigate complex phenomena and situations and can provide researchers with different understanding of certain phenomena than the use of single methods. (Kajamaa, et al. 2020). According to Creamer, (2018), integrating qualitative and quantitative data produces stronger conclusions and results than can be achieved by a single method alone which enhances quality and creates room for innovation. Use of both methods can help in generalizing the study results to a wider population from the data generated. It also provides a powerful tool for investigating complex processes and systems in health care drawing upon the strengths of both quantitative and qualitative approaches resulting in better outcomes.

On the other hand, using both methods require many team members to collaboratively work together especially on data management who may have different views and ways of working, given their different methodological preferences. This translates to more time required to conduct the study and higher resource investment. The integration of both methods’ research designs, data collection, analysis and interpretation and ethical issues can be a challenge to the researcher.

In health care, clinicians usually collect patient’s data in narrative form (qualitative) which they combine with test results (quantitative) to enable them to understand the patient’s problem and arrive at a diagnosis and give appropriate management.

Using 200-300 APA format with at least two references. References should be not be over five years

The theoretical foundations of qualitative and quantitative methods are very different, but many researchers believe both methods should be used in the research study to increase validity and reliability. What advantages or disadvantages do you see in using both types of methods in a nursing study? Support your answer with current evidence-based literature.

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