Learning about Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Gaining an in-depth understanding research designs was the most critical element gleaned from Week 4 readings and lesson. The most challenging issue was differentiating between qualitative and quantitative research. However, exposure to the readings and lesson allowed me to confidently differentiate between the two. First, the type of data has helped me to understand the difference between qualitative and quantitative research. Quantitative research generates numerical data while qualitative research produces information about people’s subjective feelings and opinions that cannot be quantified using numbers. Secondly, I have also learned that quantitative research uses measurable and statistical techniques to uncover patterns and draw conclusions. Comparatively, qualitative research focuses on gaining in-depth understanding of a nursing phenomenon based on human experience, behavior, attitudes, motivations, and intentions (Houser, 2018).
Interesting Study Design
An exploratory study design is the most interesting research design that would be useful in investigating a nursing problem. According to Houser (2018), exploratory studies are either qualitative or mixed methods, although they can also employ quantitative measures. Additionally, they are descriptive because they explore and describe a specific nursing phenomenon. The possibility of employing quantitative methods has influenced the decision of choosing the exploratory study design. Mixed methods research is increasingly gaining prominence in nursing because it strengthens the breadth and depth of understanding a nursing phenomenon. Mixed-method study achieves this goal by integrating both qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the research question from diverse perspectives. Most importantly, the mixed study approach will be instrumental in corroborating findings from both qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques to achieve method triangulation (Shorten & Smith, 2017).
Analysis of Article from Week 3
The article located in Week 3 assignment reported findings from a quantitative study that used the nonexperimental, descriptive study design. Baker, Taggart, Nivens, and Tilman (2015) conducted the study to explore nurses’ knowledge of information related to delirium, as well as their perceptions of their knowledge level. The descriptive study design allowed the researchers to describe in more detail a clinical phenomenon. Houser (2018) has argued that the study design is useful when researchers have limited knowledge about the research question. Baker et al. (2015) conducted the study because they knew little about the current confusion among nurses related to the management of patients with delirium. Therefore, the selection of the descriptive research design allowed them to discover baseline information and explain in more detail nurses’ level of knowledge related to delirium, including their perceptions of their knowledge level. References
Baker, N., Taggart, H., Nivens, A. & Tillman, P. (2015). Delirium: Why are nurses confused? MedSurg Nursing, 24(1), 15-22.
Houser, J. (2018). Nursing research: Reading, using, and creating evidence(4th ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
Shorten, A., & Smith, J. (2017). Mixed methods research: Expanding the evidence base. Evidence-Based Nursing, 20(3), 74-75. doi: 10.1136/eb-2017-102699
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