Essay Sample about Quantitative and Qualitative Study Designs

Published: 2022-08-19
Essay Sample about Quantitative and Qualitative Study Designs
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Data analysis Research
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1178 words
10 min read

Many a time new researchers fail to understand when to apply what type of research design, either qualitative or quantitative. Institutions such as governments, schools, hospitals and other social organizations require policies in order to implement their everyday activities. Since these institutions are useful to the public domain, research needs to be done to obtain information on the best type of policy the public will be comfortable with. Different research approaches are used to get the correct data from people. The approach the researcher chooses determines the reliability and validity of the data collected. The main types of research approaches used by nursing writers are qualitative research design, quantitative research design and mixed research method (Martyn, 2008). In this paper, the basis is put on qualitative and quantitative research designs-there strengths and weaknesses in carrying out different research in the nursing field.

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In this paper, we examine the effectiveness of applying either qualitative or quantitative research designs in determining the effects of the use of restraints on psych patients. Qualitative research design involves the use of qualitative data such as interviews, documents, and observations. It focuses on the use of restraints on psych patients in their natural setting to make sense in terms of meanings people bring. Quantitative research methods are more severe than qualitative ones, but qualitative methods provide depth understanding about an occurrence than any other method. Quantitative methods deal with numbers and anything that is measurable in a systematic way and their relationship. It answers questions used to give association of measurable variables with intentions of explaining, predicting and controlling an occurrence. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods utilize the same data collection tools such as interviews, observations, questionnaires, and analyses from secondary sources such as journals and publications. Where the population to be handled is large, both approaches will require sampling to obtain a manageable number. In obtaining the data for research on the use of restraints on psych patients, both methods played a role. Data from qualitative research design related to the features, attributes, and characteristics of the restraint psych patients and were used to interpret the data thematically. Quantitative method data related to the use of restraints on psych patients which were then manipulated statistically (Martyn, 2008).

Qualitative research design has its advantages which include usefulness when a subject is too complex and can be answered by a simple yes or no hypothesis. Additionally, it yields statistics wealthier and discerning interests in the original details and forms contained by the use of restraints on psych patients. The qualitative design is also practicable when the budgets are lesser, and sample sizes are limited; and moreover, qualitative design can shade an occurrence that might otherwise be concealed with a more composed quantitative review. Qualitative research designs also have disadvantages. Qualitative data collections require more time and resources. Similarly, it can evoke ethical issues and bias during the interview. Data from qualitative methods cannot be mathematically analyzed. Moreover, qualitative methods are unique and cannot be reconstructed (Howitt and Cramer,2010).

The advantages of quantitative methods are such that, they are suitable for testing results acquired through qualitative research, directing toward a concluding result and narrowing to the direct follow-up research will take. Similarly, quantitative experiments filter out external factors ensuring the results obtained are unbiased and real, and that quantitative design is a guide to confirming outcomes besides demonstrating and disapproving a hypothesis. However, the methods can be demanding, costly and time consuming-therefore careful planning is done to ensure exhaustive randomization and accurate description for classes. Moreover, the quantitative design requires broad arithmetical scrutiny that might cause problems since many nurses have little knowledge in statistics; and that quantitative design only provides results which are proven or unverified with little room for ancient areas and vagueness (Martyn,2008).

There exists a contrast between qualitative and quantitative research approaches. Quantitative data is measurable numerically while qualitative data cannot be counted but contains texts, photos, and videos. Qualitative data is unstructured- it is not orderly or clustered logically; however, qualitative data can be changed to structured quantitative data via analyzing methods such as coding. Qualitative figures are commonly obtained from lesser model proportions paralleled to quantitative data since usually no arithmetic implication is needed in the qualitative design. Moreover, qualitative information is wealthier and can provide perceptions into the public's opinions, outlooks, and reactions. Quantitative statistics aid to offer extra sureness about drift and permit develop mathematical realities (Martyn, 2008).

According to Howitt and Cramer (2011), qualitative research is not entirely considered as a true scientific research method. For research to be deliberated scientific, it ought to be factual, stable and able to be generalized. Qualitative research requires each interview to be unique and does not follow the same design since the questions are unrestricted, and a possibility occurs that contributors may understand them contrarily. The information collected is usually bulky and tough to achieve, and the qualitative investigator is involved in the research. A quantitative examiner is an independent spectator, and the method used to collect information leaves no space for personal interpretation. Thus, qualitative research is more subjective and has rarer likelihoods to be binding. Dependability is the consistency of the results whenever the same study is done under the same conditions. Qualitative research is dedicated to discovering phenomena based on small numbers of members and is not aimed at acquiring reliable data. Willig (2008), however, states that it is still likely to get dependable data using qualitative research. Quantitative methods use large samples and are therefore capable of producing reliable data. Generalization is a fundamental goal of science, but the qualitative method is not generalizable; hence the quantitative approach is more preferred ((Martyn &Wilson, 2008). However much qualitative research appears to be nearing the standards for legitimacy; a quantitative study has high reliability and can be generalized. Using both qualitative and quantitative research methods is more convenient for it provides valid and reliable information.

In conclusion, qualitative and quantitative research designs collect different types of data, and the researcher needs to know what type of information is needed in the study in order to identify the design that suits it. Qualitative research design collects data to be analyzed thematically and gives reasons for the occurrence and behaviors. On the other hand, quantitative research design collects information to be analyzed mathematically and answer questions of quantity or prevalence of an occurrence. To use the right design, the researcher should carefully examine the study questions and decide which method suits to give the best and exhaustive answers. Sometimes the research may require a combination of the two methods. However, quantitative research design is the most preferred since it gives data that is comprehensive and valid.


Howitt, D, and Cramer, D. (2010). Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology (3rd ed.). Harlow: Pearson.

Martyn Shuttleworth (Mar 7, 2008). Quantitative Research Design. Retrieved Oct 12, 2018 from

Martyn Shuttleworth, Lyndsay T Wilson (Sep 14, 2008). Qualitative Research Design. Retrieved Oct 12, 2018 from

Willig, C. (2008). Introducing qualitative research in psychology: Adventures in theory and method (2nd ed.) Buckingham: Open University Press.

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