The theoretical foundations of qualitative and quantitative methods
The theoretical foundations of qualitative and quantitative methods are very different, but many researchers believe both methods should be used in the research study to increase validity and reliability. What advantages or disadvantages do you see in using both types of methods in a nursing study? Support your answer with current evidence-based literature.
Using Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in a Nursing Study
There is a common misconception that qualitative research findings cannot be used alone, but should be employed as theoretical foundations for quantitative studies. The latter is what is assumed to be the most appropriate for offering evidence-based findings for nursing studies. However, considering the benefits of both methods, it is evident that nursing research should consider using both qualitative and quantitative methods since they increase the validity and reliability of the study.
Both qualitative and quantitative studies are important because they offer unique contributions to a research study. Qualitative studies are complete on their own, and do not require any other statistics. This method offers theoretical foundations for current studies by analysing what has already been studies, and identifying gaps (Grove & Gray, 2018). Hence, the reliability of a study is enhanced. For quantitative studies, generalization tends to be based on the establishment of laws for the target population based on the data obtained from the sample (Rutberg & Bouikidis, 2018). This tends to assist in increasing validity since it offers insights on effective data collection methods and sampling techniques. Therefore, both methods offer input in nursing study as the form of data that is being applied is different.
In conclusion, qualitative methods are important in nursing studies since they offer unique contributions by establishing theoretical foundations on the research topic. Quantitative methods, on the contrary, focuses on analysis of the effectiveness of various data collection and sampling techniques. Hence, the presence of a gap in literature can be identified before the best data collection methods are considered. Both of these methods contribute differently, and are equally important in evidence-based practice.
Grove, S., & Gray, J. (2018). Understanding Nursing Research E-Book: Building an Evidence-Based Practice. Elsevier Health Sciences, 150-380.
Rutberg, S., & Bouikidis, C.D. (2018). Focusing on the fundamentals: A simplistic differentiation between qualitative and quantitative research. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 45(2), 209- 212.