Qualitative Research Essay

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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 practice in nursing, and is gaining greater
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• 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
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