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Qualitative Research Essay

1639 words - 7 pages

Qualitative Research in Nursing
Date of last revision : January 28, 2011

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts” -Albert Einstein
• Qualitative research methods have become increasingly important as ways of developing nursing knowledge for evidence-based nursing practice. Qualitative research answers a wide variety of questions related to nursing's concern with human responses to actual or potential health problems. (Ploeg J, 1999)
• Qualitative research is a type of scientific research which has its roots in philosophy and human sciences.
• Qualitative research plays an important part in providing evidence for ...view middle of the document...

• The key difference between quantitative and qualitative methods is their flexibility.
• In qualitative methods, the relationship between the researcher and the participant is often less formal than in quantitative research
Quantitative Research Qualitative Research
General framework • Seek to confirm hypotheses
• Postivist paradigm • Seek to explore phenomena
• Naturalistic paradigm
Objectives • To predict & control • To understand (what, how, & why)
Tools • Highly structured methods: questionnaires, surveys, and structured observation • Use semi-structured methods: in-depth interviews, focus
groups, and participant observation
Design • Rigid design
• Controlled & experimental • Emergent design
Focus • Prediction
• Outcomes
• Generalisability • Rich “thick” description
• Similarities & contrasts
• Process & context
Nature of data analysis • Statistical • Non-statistical
Sampling • Relatively large samples using often random sampling • Small samples using purposive, convenient or snaw ball sampling technique.
• Semi structured interviews
• In-depth interviews
• Focus Group Discussions
• Ethnography
• Participatory Action Research
• Narrative and Life History
• Participant observation
Unobtrusive methods
• Simple observation
• Document analysis (written records)
• Audio-visual
• Text analysis / Discourse analysis
• Material culture
• Auto-ethnography (object, subject and researcher)
• Most intuitive method
Three most common methods are
• Participant observation
o appropriate for collecting data on naturally occurring behaviors in their usual contexts.
• In-depth interviews
o optimal for collecting data on individuals’ personal histories, perspectives, and experiences, particularly when sensitive topics are being explored.
• Focus groups
o effective in eliciting data on the cultural norms of a group and in generating broad overviews of issues of concern to the cultural groups or subgroups represented.
Sampling methods used in qualitative research are:
1. purposive sampling
2. quota sampling, and
3. snowball sampling
• Purposive sampling
o most common sampling strategy.
o according to preselected criteria relevant to a particular research question
o Sample sizes depend on the resources and time available, as well as the study’s objectives.
• Quota sampling
o In quota sampling, rsearcher decides while designing the study how many people with which characteristics to include as participants.
o Characteristics such as age, place of residence, gender, class, profession, marital status, use of a particular contraceptive method, HIV status, etc. are taken as inclusion criteria.
o The criteria chosen by the researcher allow him to focus on people he thinks would be most likely to experience, know about, or have insights into the research...

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