Quantitative and Qualitative Research Mohamed EL-AWADY Professor of community medicine Ain Shams University. Lecture outlines. Objectives of quantitative research Main features in quantitative and qualitative research Data collection
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Quantitative and Qualitative Research
Professor of community medicine
Ain Shams University
What is research?
It is a scientific way of answering questions and testing hypothesis.
The following terms are used interchangeably; research, approach and tradition.
It is the whole design including; assumptions, the process of inquiry, the type of data collected and the measuring of findings.
The quantitative approach views human phenomena as being amenable to objective study i.e. able to be measured. It has its roots in positivism
The following criteria should be fulfilled:
Data collection was structured and standardized. K. is measured questionnaire and P. by “structured observation schedule”
Data are analyzed by statistical tests.
As such approach tests whether variables are correlated or one affects another e.g. nutritional status and pressure ulcers, or factors related to tobacco use.
Some quantitative studies are inductive as they lead to formation of new questions ( generate new hypothesis )
However, the study is no less quantitative if a random representative sample is not used.
Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.
( Albert Einstein )
So, listening and observing may give more information than sending questions.
2- Inductive approach
3- Interactive and Reflective
1-Exploration is the essential feature of qualitative approach in order to understand the perceptions and actions of participants.
Exploration is to discover new people, customs, and to learn from them.
Exploration is a difficult task that requires training and experience.
It should be inductive, interactive, reflexive and holistic.
2- Inductive approach:
The purpose of qualitative approach is to develop concepts and generates hypothesis. The researcher is open to ideas which emerge from listening or observing people.
The inductive approach is useful when little is known about the topics one wants to study.
3- Interactive and Reflexive process
To avoid bias in quantitative approach, the researchers try to study phenomena in a detached way.
In qualitative studies, researchers use interaction between them and participants to get closer to the topic under study. The researcher becomes an instrument of data collection. The researchers probe, facilitate, and note tone, hesitations and repetition in participants responses.
3- Interactive and Reflexive process (cont.)
There should be trust between participants and researchers.
The qualitative research should be reflexive i.e. examining not only what people say and do, but also why they say and do so.
4- Holistic exploration
In quantitative research, the researcher is constrained by a number of variables to be studied.
In qualitative research, participants are allowed to put their responses in context.
5- Flexible methods
Qualitative research relies on personal, intimate and private world of participants. So flexible, imaginative, creative and varied strategies are used to facilitate this process.
Data collection methods include; interviews, observations, group discussion, analysis of video recording, letters, diaries and other documents.
In quantitative research, data collection methods are constructed in advance.
3- Discourse analysis
4- Grounded theory
1- Ethnography:is an approach relying on the collection of data in the natural environment. Ethnographers are interested in how the behavior of individuals is influenced or mediated by culture in which they live.
So, human behavior can only be understood if studied in the setting in which it occurs. As people can influence and be influenced by the groups they live in.
2- Phenomenology: It focuses on individuals' interpretation of their experience and the ways in which they express them.
The researchers task is to describe phenomena as experienced and expressed by individuals.
3- Discourse analysis:Discourse is a term used to describe the systems we use in communication with others. These include verbal, non-verbal and written material.
What we say, how we say it, our choice of words, tone, timing are full of values, meanings and intentions.
So, analysis of discourse increases our understanding of human behavior through language and interaction.
4- Grounded theory:It is an inductive approach to research whereby hypotheses and theories emerge out or are grounded in data.
1- explore patients’ experience and behavior.
2- explore the experience and behavior of nurses and other health professionals.
3- evaluate intervention and services.
4- explore core concepts relevant to nursing and health.
1- It is anecdotal (stories told for dramatic quality without critical evaluation)
3- Producing findings that are not generalisable
Humans are both rational calculating beings…and they also operate on a deeper level of feelings, drivers and irrationality.
By others it is; story telling, touchy – feely, biased, subjective, lacking reliability validity and generalisabilty.
1- To develop and enhance the validity of scales, questionnaire and tools.
2- To develop, implement and evaluate interventions.
3- To further explore or test the findings of one method.
4- To study different aspects of the same topics.
5- To explore complex phenomena from different perspectives.
6- To confirm or cross-validate data.