Some people consider the difference between the terms “quantitative” and “qualitative” to be similar to the difference between facts and feelings. These individuals might argue that quantitative approaches are better or more appropriate than qualitative approaches, particularly in health care. They might support this argument by saying that quantitative approaches are based on numbers and concrete evidence rather than on subjective observations and opinions.
Based on the information presented in this week’s Learning Resources and Media, do you think this an accurate way of distinguishing quantitative and qualitative methods of research? Is one method inherently superior to the other? How would you describe the difference between quantitative and qualitative research to someone who was completely unfamiliar with these concepts?
This Discussion explores the characteristics of quantitative and qualitative research methods as well as the application of each in the practice setting. You examine the suitability of each method to evidence-based practice. You are encouraged to make connections between general characteristics and abstract research concepts to realistic scenarios and actual experiences in your responses to this week’s Discussion prompts.
Note: This Discussion takes place in small groups, which should have been assigned by your Instructor.
- Review Dr. Shi’s comparison of the characteristics of quantitative and qualitative research presented in this week’s media presentation and in the “Overview of Qualitative Research Methods” tutorial.
- Reflect on the Learning Resources focusing on the use of quantitative and qualitative research in health care.
- With the two articles you reviewed in mind (one quantitative and one qualitative), think about how those types of research projects influence, or support, evidence-based nursing practice. Ask yourself: Which methodology is most appropriate for supporting evidence-based practice? What characteristics of that methodology support my conclusion?
By Day 3
Post a cohesive response in your small group that addresses the following:
- Analyze how quantitative and qualitative research projects can be applied to evidence-based nursing practice.
- What characteristics of quantitative or qualitative research make it the most appropriate for addressing evidence-based practice problems? Support your position.