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Quantitative and Qualitative Research in Clinical Settings

Quantitative and Qualitative Research in Clinical Settings

Some people consider the difference between the terms “quantitative” and “qualitative” to be similar to the difference between facts and feelings. These individuals might argue that quantitative approaches are better or more appropriate than qualitative approaches, particularly in health care. They might support this argument by saying that quantitative approaches are based on numbers and concrete evidence rather than on subjective observations and opinions.

Based on the information presented in this week’s Learning Resources and Media, do you think this an accurate way of distinguishing quantitative and qualitative methods of research? Is one method inherently superior to the other? How would you describe the difference between quantitative and qualitative research to someone who was completely unfamiliar with these concepts?

This Discussion explores the characteristics of quantitative and qualitative research methods as well as the application of each in the practice setting. You examine the suitability of each method to evidence-based practice. You are encouraged to make connections between general characteristics and abstract research concepts to realistic scenarios and actual experiences in your responses to this week’s Discussion prompts. 

To prepare:

  • Review Dr. Shi’s comparison of the characteristics of quantitative and qualitative research presented in this week’s media presentation and in the “Overview of Qualitative Research Methods” tutorial.
  • Reflect on the Learning Resources focusing on the use of quantitative and qualitative research in health care.
  • With the two articles you reviewed in mind (one quantitative and one qualitative), think about how those types of research projects influence, or support, evidence-based nursing practice. Ask yourself: Which methodology is most appropriate for supporting evidence-based practice? What characteristics of that methodology support my conclusion? SEE ATTACHED FILES FOR ARTICLES

By Tomorrow 08/29/17, write a minimum of 550 words in APA format with a minimum of 3 references from the list below which include the level one headings as numbered below:

post a cohesive response that addresses the following:

1)     Analyze how quantitative and qualitative research projects can be applied to evidence-based nursing practice. (SEE ATTACHED FILES FOR ARTICLES)

2)     What characteristics of quantitative or qualitative research make it the most appropriate for addressing evidence-based practice problems? Support your position.

Required Media

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2011). Research methods for evidence-based practice: Introduction to research and analysis. Baltimore, MD: Author.

 Note:  The approximate length of this media piece is 10 minutes.

 In this week’s video, the presenters discuss the use of research in health care and how health care professionals can select appropriate research topics. The video also discusses how to identify organizational sources of data for health care research.


Walden University. (n.d.). Overview of quantitative research methods. Retrieved August 1, 2011, from

 This tutorial provides an overview of qualitative research design and methods, including the key questions to consider when using a qualitative methodology.

Required Readings

Gray, J.R., Grove,  S.K., & Sutherland, S. (2017). Burns  and Grove’s the practice of nursing research: Appraisal, synthesis, and generation of evidence (8th ed.). St.  Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.

Chapter 2, “Evolution of Research in Building Evidence-Based Nursing Practice”

 This excerpt discusses methodologies for developing research evidence in nursing and compares quantitative and qualitative research methods. This section of Chapter 2 also introduces levels of evidence and how the various levels are used in evidence-based practice.

 Chapter 3, “Introduction to Quantitative Research”

 Chapter 3 provides an overview of quantitative research methods, including sampling and research settings. The chapter also outlines the steps of quantitative research from the formulation of a research project to communicating research findings.

 Chapter 4, “Introduction to Qualitative Research”

 Chapter 4 introduces qualitative research methods and examines the use of qualitative research in nursing.

Select and read one article that uses quantitative methodology and one article that uses qualitative methodology:

Bonner, L. M., Simons, C. E., Parker, L. E., Yano, E. M., & Kirchner, J. E. (2010). ‘To take care of the patients’: Qualitative analysis of Veterans Health Administration personnel experiences with a clinical informatics system. Implementation Science, 563–570. doi:10.1186/1748-5908-5-63

Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database. [Qualitative]

 This article presents a qualitative analysis of interview transcripts with Veteran Health Administration (VA) personnel and examines themes relating to participants’ interactions with and assessment of the VA electronic health record (EHR).

Fletcher, A., Cooper, J. R., Helms, P., Northington, L., & Winters, K. (2009). Stemming the tide of childhood obesity in an underserved urban African American population: A pilot study. ABNF Journal, 20(2), 44–48.

Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database. [Quantitative]

 This article presents the quantitative findings of a pilot weight control study performed by the Kids for Healthy Eating and Exercising (KHEE) club in Jackson, Mississippi. This program may be considered a model for successful methods of addressing the nationwide problem of childhood obesity.

Lavoie-Tremblay, M., Paquet, M., Duchesne, M., Santo, A., Gavrancic, A., Courcy, F., & Gagnon, S. (2010). Retaining nurses and other hospital workers: An intergenerational perspective of the work climate. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 42(4), 414–422. doi:10.1111/j.1547-5069.2010.01370.x

Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library using the CINAHL Plus with Full Text database. [Quantitative]

 This article outlines a quantitative study on work climate perceptions and intentions to quit among health care workers belonging to three distinct generations: baby boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. The article offers suggestions for retention strategies based on the findings of this study: identifying areas of work climate improvement that are relevant to workers across the three generations in the study.

Watts, S., Gee, J., O’Day, M., Schaub, K., Lawrence, R., Aron, D., & Kirsh, S. (2009). Program evaluation. Nurse practitioner-led multidisciplinary teams to improve chronic illness care: The unique strengths of nurse practitioners applied to shared medical appointments/group visits. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 21(3), 167–172.

Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library using the CINAHL Plus with Full Text database. [Qualitative]

 This article offers a qualitative analysis of case studies of shared medical appointments (SMAs) or group visits for three different chronic diseases. Using the six criteria in a novel chronic care model (CCM), the article illustrates how nurse practitioners (NPs) play a variety of roles in the development, implementation, and sustainability of SMAs as a method of improving the quality of life and care for patients with chronic diseases.


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