Quantitative and Qualitative
Length: A minimum of 150 words per post, not including references
Citations: At least one high-level scholarly reference in APA per post from within the last 5 years
In this discussion, I will be comparing and contrasting the differences in analysis methods between quantitative and qualitative nursing research. Quantitative study designs analyze numerical data in research studies. These quantitative designs have many subcategories. These subcategories of quantitative studies include case, case-controlled, cohort studies and are non-experimental. There are also pre-experimental designs that contain one group’s outcome being evaluated either before or after an intervention. The next category in this quantitative research experiment design is quasi-experimental or non-randomized studies (an intervention affects the outcome). A true experimental design is another quantitative study where the intervention is randomly assigned to certain participants and not to others. This true experimental design reduced biases. Lastly, is the systematic review study. This is a synopsis of numerous studies. This is the most reliable and trusted type of study in the quantitative design category (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2019).
Qualitative studies take a different approach to testing. According to Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt (2019) qualitative studies assist in evidence-based practice by helping to answer clinical questions regarding healthcare interventions, impact policy and decision making, use language and concepts, and are based on participant observation which is subjective. Qualitative experiments involve the collection of data in a non-numerical form such as interviews, surveys, or description narratives from the participant perspective.
Qualitative and quantitative designs are similar in ethical considerations, they both rely on a theoretical framework, both research a proposed question for data collection, and both can be used to test a theory or hypothesis. They are different in that qualitative research is inductive, contains descriptive research techniques and open-ended questions. Observation is an important part of qualitative research and relies on subjective participant narrative reporting. Quantitative in contrast focuses on numerical data and is close-ended. It has a top-down approach to conducting research (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2019).
An example of a qualitative research design study would be qualitative research in palliative care: reflecting on meaningful encounters. This would be a study of nurse practitioners and focus on a descriptive analysis regarding their interaction with palliative patients where they would describe the elements involved in defining a meaningful patient-provider interaction.
An example of a quantitative research design applicable to the FNP would be a numerical systematic review rating anxiety levels in palliative patients. This would include two groups, a control and an intervention group. The intervention group would test whether mindfulness affects anxiety in palliative patients. The question would be if implementing mindfulness lowers anxiety levels based on numerical data. The nurse acts as a link between many levels of healthcare and influences the patient directly. According to Sekse et al. (2018) it shows a qualitative meta-synthesis describing the positive effects nursing has on palliative care.
Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2019). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A Guide to Best Practice. (4th ed., pp.148-212). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.
Sekse, R., Hunskår, I., & Ellingsen, S. (2018). The nurse’s role in palliative care: A qualitative meta-synthesis. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(1-2), e21–e38. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.13912