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Compare and contrast qualitative and quantitative approaches to research

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Introduction

Compare and contrast qualitative and quantitative approaches to research This essay will compare and contrast the 3 articles below in relation to qualitative and quantitative approaches to research focusing on the design and methods used in each study including sampling, data collection and data analysis. The first chosen article by Winkens et al. (2006) uses a qualitative method to look at the manifestations of mental slowness in the stroke population. Toulotte, Thevenon, Watelain and Fabre (2006) uses a case comparison quantitative study to identify healthy elderly fallers and non-fallers by gait analysis under dual task conditions and the study by Girou, Loyeau, Legrand, Oppein and Brun-Buisson (2002) uses a randomised clinical trail (RCT) to find the efficacy of hand rubbing with alcohol based solutions versus standard hand washing with antiseptic soap. The purpose of research studies is to explore the information within the given environment and consider their viability and effectiveness and whether these can add value for learners to the overall experience (Sarantakos 1993). The term 'Research' can consist of different meanings, research enquires can be defined as; a methodical, formal and precise process employed to gain solutions to problems and to discover and interpret new facts and relationships. (Waltz and Bausell 1981, p.1). The goals of research are to formulate questions and aim to find the answers to those questions. The immediate goals of research are categorised as exploration, description, prediction, explanation and action, where they provide a strategy for figuring out which questions to ask and which answers to seek (Sarantakos 1993). Researchers can decide the type of research they want to carryout according to which methods would suit their research. Qualitative research is a systematic method of inquiry which follows a scientific in depth method of problem solving deviating in certain directions (Thomas and Nelson 2001). With qualitative research a hypothesis is often not given at the beginning of research studies and develops as the data unfolds. ...read more.

Middle

to take part in the study. When selecting participants it must be decided the type of participants required and a clear definition of these participants must be given. A sample should be chosen purposefully and many sampling strategies can be used. Samples vary considerably in the extent to which they represent the population, but the researcher who pays particular attention to the representativeness of the sample increases the possibility of generalizing the findings to a larger group. The researchers should determine the number of participants that are needed, as there is no single, correct sample size (Byrne 2001). It is also important that the authors explain their sampling method and reasons for sample chosen so that readers can assess whether or not the findings can be useful in other settings (Parahoo 1997). Winkens et al. (2006) uses a convenient sample of 13 participants from a stroke population. This sample size is a very small sample size considering the number of people who have or have had a stroke and 13 people cannot be sufficient enough to represent the whole stroke population. In this study however the authors felt that saturation had been reached with 13 participants. The sample was also a selective group of mainly recovered, Dutch patients who had a good prognosis and most of the participants the stroke had occurred a long time ago. Therefore, the results of this study cannot be generalised to all patients with stroke, especially the patients who do not have good prognosis. The study by Girou et al. (2002) used 23 nurses. The sampling was carried out in a university hospital in 3 intensive care units. All workers were asked to volunteer for the study. Volunteering for a study already causes some bias in the research even before it is carried out. This study however failed to mention how they were asked and how many workers were asked. ...read more.

Conclusion

769-772. Hardey M, and Mulhall A, (1994) Nursing Research. Theory and Practice. London: Chapman and Hall. Hek G, Judd M, and Moule P, (2002) Making Sense of research: An Introduction for Health and Social Care Practitioners. 2nd ed. London, Continuum. Hicks, C (1999) Research methods for Clinical Therapists. Applied Project Design and Analysis. China: Churchill Livingstone Lucet, J. C., Rigaud, M. P., Mentre, F., Kassis, N., Deblangy, C., Andremont, A., and Bouvet, E. (2002) Hand contamination before and after different hand hygiene techniques: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Hospital Infection, 50. pp. 276-280. Marshall, M. N. (1996) Sampling for qualitative research. Family Practice, 13. pp. 522-525. Myers, M. (2000). Qualitative research and the generalizability question: Standing firm with Proteus. The Qualitative Report, 4. pp. 3/4. Parahoo K, (1997). Nursing research: Principles, Process and Issues. Hampshire: Palgrave McMillan. Perry, L and McLaren, S. (2003) Coping and adaptation at six months after stroke: experiences with eating disabilities. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 40. pp. 185-195. Pope, C and Mays, N. (1995) Qualitative Research: Reaching the parts other methods cannot reach: an introduction to qualitative methods in health and health services research British Medical Journal, 311. pp. 42 - 45. Pope, C, Ziebland, S., Mays, N. (2000) Qualitative research in health care Analysing qualitative data. British Medical Journal, 320. pp. 114-116. Sarantakos, S. (1993). Social Research. Basingstoke: Macmillan Silveman, D (2000) Doing qualitative research: A practical handbook. London: Sage Publications Thomas and Nelson (2001) Research Methods In Physical Activity. USA: Human Kinetics Toulotte, C., Thevenon, A. Watelain, E. and Fabre, C. (2006) Identification of healthy elderly fallers and non-fallers by gait analysis under dual-task conditions Clinical Rehabilitation, 20. pp. 269-276. Waltz, C. and Bausell, R.B. (1981). Nursing Research: design, Statistics and Computer Analysis. Philadelphia Winkens, I, Van Heugten, C. M., Fasotti, L., Duits, A. A. and Wade, D. T. (2006) Manifestations of mental slowness in the daily life of patients with stroke: a qualitative study. Clinical Rehabilitation, 20. p. 827-834 ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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