Qualitative Research Methods - Essay Prowess

Qualitative Research Methods


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Topic 2 D Q 1

Qualitative research methods involve systematic processes employed towards gathering data and statistically analyzing collected data as measured using identified instruments. These instruments convert data into numbers (Holloway & Wheeler, 2013). Nursing research study phenomenon is thus examined via numerical representations relative to observations as well as through statistical analysis techniques.

Quantitative research methods focus on the qualities of an entity or process as well as meanings which are not measurable in terms of frequency, amount, intensity or quantity (Fain, 2013). This method involves an analysis of survey oriented open ended questions as received from a study participant. It is considered as a purely naturalistic research.

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages associated with both research methods dependent on a nursing study researcher’s principal focus and aims.

Advantages of qualitative research are that it is best suited for the initial stages of a nursing research study (Holloway & Wheeler, 2013). This enables researchers to study a research phenomenon even though he or she has limited information on the details of a research study. It therefore has a flexible design plan and offers researchers room for freedom. It also offers detailed data through visual or descriptive data (Polit & Beck, 2013). It allows for the investigation of social meaning and context of a study.

Disadvantages of qualitative research is that it is time consuming and that it is prone to skewed data as a result of researcher bias in interpreting collected data (Polit & Beck, 2013).

Advantages associated with quantitative research are that the research can measure and subsequently analyze collected data (Fain, 2013). It also translates to a more objective research study outcome. This method is employed in testing research hypothesis as statistical methods are employed in data analysis (Fain, 2013).

A major disadvantage is that the context of a research study can be easily overlooked as it is not conducted in natural settings (Fain, 2013). It also requires a large population so as to achieve statistical accuracy.


Fain, J. A. (2013). Reading, understanding, and applying nursing research. Philadelphia, PA: FA Davis.

Holloway, I. & Wheeler, S. (2013). Qualitative research in nursing and healthcare. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Polit, D. F. & Beck, C. T. (2013). Essentials of nursing research. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.