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DCB Qualitative and Quantitative Research Discussion

DCB Qualitative and Quantitative Research Discussion


1- According to, the definition of qualitative is “relating to, measuring, or measured by the quality of something rather than its quantity”, whereas quantitative is “relating to, measured, or measured by the quantity of something rather than its quality.” (, n.d.) In other words, quantitative research uses numbers, and qualitative does not. There is definitely reason to use both types of research for nursing.

Qualitative research looks at understanding and builds a more complex picture, with reports and detailed views of participants instead of just the numbers. I feel that it is a more personal approach to research instead of just number crunching. Although, quantitative research holds a lot to offer as well in research fields, because numbers do not have feelings. When it comes to nursing, we use people-based, along with research-based practices. We only figure out what research-based practices work best when we use both types of data. Sometimes, we need to focus only on the numbers with a problem, where other times we should be focusing on quality. So, there is a huge need for both types of research.

In a study of qualitative vs. quantitative data done by Man-Son-Hing and colleagues in 2002, they gave a sample size of 198 volunteers were given the two types of research when given information on atrial fibrillation and stroke prevention. Those who received the quantitative information felt more informed, were better able to estimate their risk, and had more realistic expectations when it came to their stroke risk. (Tappen, 2013) I think this specific study is interesting. When we are talking to patients about their risk factors for disease, I think it is better in most circumstances to talk to them in a more quantitative manner, but speaking of treatment of illness, I would focus more on qualitative. We never want to be doom-and-gloom with our patients, but there is a lot to be said for being straightforward and honest with them in a quality manner when it comes to making sure they are informed.



Qualitative and quantitative nursing research inform the nursing practice. The data obtained by researchers using both methods have an order or scale with which they measure their tests. The data is used for research and statistical analysis of health issues (Rutberg & Bouikidis, 2018). For instance, a nursing researcher can use statistics (quantitative) to identify particular patterns of qualitative data, such as signs and symptoms. Nurses require both research approaches to prepare frequency charts or data sheets to document the medication timing for drugs given to patients (Doyle et al., 2020). Furthermore, the two research designs rely on phenomenology, grounded theory, and ethnography. Qualitative and quantitative research credibility relies on external and internal validity. Hence these two research approaches share some principles.


Quantitative nursing research is a hard science because it deals with general physical tasks such as observation and measurement to obtain empirical data. On the other hand, the qualitative approach is considered a soft science because it deals with intangibles where a researcher learns patient behaviors, thoughts, interactions, and feelings to deduce their conclusions (Doyle et al., 2020). Quantitative nursing research studies the causal and correlational relationship between variables through hypothesis testing, while qualitative research uses interviews and observations to understand a real-world phenomenon. Quantitative data forms the baseline information that aids nursing researchers in identifying patients to interview during data collection (Rutberg & Bouikidis, 2018). On the other hand, researchers use qualitative data to comprehend the barriers and facilitators to recruitment and retention.

Use of Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches to Nursing Research

Qualitative research should be used in nursing to study health behavior patterns, examine healthcare necessities and formulate medical interventions. The approach should also initiate behavioral interventions such as recommending the ideal lifestyles. The qualitative approach is used this way because it mainly focuses on studying lived experiences of patients and nurses (Doyle et al., 2020). These experiences are mainly described in terms of behaviors, and chronic illnesses are the main subjects. The mitigation of such illnesses mainly includes behavioral practices such as a healthy lifestyle.

Quantitative research should be applied in nursing research by evaluating data and records to determine how patient care will proceed. Nursing researchers should use objective measurements to apply statistical methods, economic studies, and mathematical and computational models and formulas. They should use the quantitative approach because phenomena studied under the design require systematic, rigorous, and comprehensive empirical investigations (Rutberg & Bouikidis, 2018). Researchers should be critical when deciding whether to apply either of these approaches.

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