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UCQ

Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Find and distinguish between qualitative and quantitative research

Types of Research

Definition

The purpose of qualitative research is to “understand, describe, and interpret social phenomena as perceived by individuals, groups and cultures” (Holloway & Galvin, p.3). Through examining the experiences, thoughts, feelings and behaviours of individuals, qualitative research provides insight into how people interpret their experiences and their environment (Holloway & Galvin, p.3).

Qualitative research tends to use words as data as opposed to numbers. 

 Study Designs

  • Ethnography
  • Grounded Theory
  • Narrative Inquiry
  • Phenomenology
  • Action Research
  • Case Study
  • Historical (Renjith et al., 2021).

This is not an exhaustive list but common designs used in health sciences.

Data Collection 

  • Interviews (semi-structured or unstructured)
  • Participant observations
  • Document study (diaries, journals, pre-existing documents or internet based materials)
  • Visual methodologies (photo elicitation, video diaries, or paintings)
  • Focus groups (Russell & Gregory, 2003).

Data Analysis 

Collected data is transcribed into transcripts and protocols and then coded and analysed (Busetto, Wick & Gumbinger, 2020).


References

Busetto, L., Wick, W. & Gumbinger, C. (2020). How to use and assess qualitative research methods. Neurol. Res. Pract. 2(14). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42466-020-00059-z

Holloway, I. & Galvin, K. (2016). Qualitative research in nursing and healthcare. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.

Renjith, V., Yesodharan, R., Noronha, J. A., Ladd, E., & George, A. (2021). Qualitative methods in health care research. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 12(20). https://doi.org/10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_321_19

Russell C.K. & Gregory, D.M. (2003). Evaluation of qualitative research studies. Evidence-Based Nursing 6(2), 36-40. https://doi.org/10.1136/ebn.6.2.36

Definition

The purpose of quantitative research is to study the causal or correlational relationship between particular variables to describe phenomenon by testing a hypothesis (Creswell, 2013).

In following the “scientific method”, quantitative research uses systematic data collection, objective measurements and mathematical or statistical analysis of data in order to generalize findings across contexts and populations (Boswell & Cannon, 2020).

Quantitative research generally uses numbers as data as opposed to words.

Study Designs

  • Descriptive Research Design
  • Correlational Research Design
  • Quasi-experimental Research Design
  • Experimental Research Design (Boswell & Cannon, 2020).

This is not an exhaustive list. There are different study designs within these categories and other designs in general.

Data Collection 

  • Tests
  • Polls
  • Questionnaires
  • Surveys
  • Analysing pre-existing statistical data (Boswell & Cannon, 2020).

Data Analysis

Analysis is objective, using mathematical, statistical or computation techniques to analyze data. 


References

Boswell, C., & Cannon, S. (2020). Introduction to nursing research: Incorporating evidence-based practice, Fifth edition. Jones & Bartlett Learning. Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications.