Qualitative and Quantitative Nursing Research

The quantitative method of research has been used more extensively in the sciences as well as in nursing research. However, in recent times, the qualitative method of inquiry has gained grounds and is now also being used alongside the quantitative methods (Burns & Grove, 2002). In addition to this, mixed methods are now being employed by a number of nursing researchers in order for them to draw upon the strengths of both kinds of research methods (Sandelowski, 2000).

A concrete example of a nursing research study that made use of qualitative approach was conducted by Richter, Parkes and Chaw-Kant (2007). They explored the situation of antepartum patients with a high risk when they were hospitalized. They sought to make several recommendations based on the perspectives and views of the patients on the way that they can be treated better by the hospital caregivers, as well as by their family members. They chose thirteen female patients in a hospital in Alberta to become the sample for their research.

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The situations of these patients were then observed and described based on a set of variables that the authors identified. The major topics and themes that the trio of researchers identified is their feeling that they have become a burden to their family members because of their loss of control. In addition to that, they cited several issues that the patients were concerned about such as privacy of family members as well as their sensitivity to the needs of the patients.

Since the patients were also asked about their situation and their recommendations, they suggested that they should be able to do several activities so that they would not get bored too much. Their family members should also have accommodation so that when they visit, they will have some place to stay at. The researchers concluded by pointing out the need to understand the situation of antepartum patients with high-risk so that they can be cared for appropriately, stress would be relieved more effectively and interventions could be done so that they will not have much trouble, as well as their families.

The study of Richter, Parkes and Chaw-Kant (2007) utilized qualitative approach and did no use any quantitative approach. In contrast, Paradisi, et. Al. (2005) studied healthy women with gestational hypertension with regards to their cardiovascular risk factors. The study they conducted is quantitative and relied heavily on numbers and computations. Their objective was to look into the endothelial function, together with carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in healthy women that have previously experienced pregnancy complications.

They measured several body fluids such as glucose, insulin and androgens among others. They found out that in healthy women with previous pregnancy problems, endothelial dysfunction and early alteration of carbohydrate are present. This factor helped increase the cardiovascular disease that develop later in the lives of these women. Both studies, although they differ in method—one is quantitative and the other is qualitative are worth reading because of the information they offer.

The qualitative study, however, looks more deeply into the perceptions of the patients and present information that otherwise not considered by quantitative methods. Such approach, however, tends to be subjective, depending on the individual perceptions of the clients. The quantitative method, on the other hand, tends to focus on the technical aspect of the matter and may disregard some personal insights from the patients, which may also be considered in understanding the phenomenon more deeply.