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Nursing Research

Qualitative & Quantitative Research

 

Qualitative - relating to, measuring, or measured by the quality of something rather than its quantity.

Quantitative - relating to, measuring, or measured by the quantity of something rather than its quality.

 

Qualitative Research Quantitative Research 
Methods include focus groups, unstructured or in-depth interviews, and reviews of documents for types of themes
Surveys, structured interviews, measurements & observations, and reviews of records or documents for numeric or quantifiable information
Primarily inductive process used to formulate theory or hypotheses Primarily deductive process used to test pre-specified concepts, constructs, and hypotheses that make up a theory
More subjective: describes a problem or condition from the point of view of those experiencing it More objective: provides observed effects (interpreted by researchers) of a program on a problem or condition
Text-based Number-based
More in-depth information on a few cases Less in-depth but more breadth of information across a large number of cases
Unstructured or semi-structured response options
Fixed response options, measurements, or observations
No statistical tests
Statistical tests are used for analysis
Less generalizable
More generalizable


Credit: UTA Libraries Nursing Research Guide  https://libguides.uta.edu/quantitative_and_qualitative_research/differences

 

Qualitative:

 Use the Clinical Queries menu on the Advanced Search:

  • Qualitative-High Sensitivity for a broad search
  • Qualitative-High Specificity for a narrow, specific search
  • Qualitative-Best Balance for something in between

 

Quantitative:

There is no easy way to specify quantitative studies in CINAHL.

Randomized Controlled Trials (check box or in the Publication Type menu) are often quantitative, or at least have a quantitative aspect.

 Use the Publication Type menu:

  • Equations and Formulas
  • Statistics
  • Tables and Charts
  • Randomized Controlled Trials (if you haven't already done a search with the check box, see above)
    (you can select more than one option in the drop down box by using CTRL-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac))

Graph and Chart are available from the more limited Image Quick View check boxes (bottom of the Limits menu), as well. Results will be mostly 1-click full text, unlike the Publication Type menu options above.

These don't guarantee quantitative studies, but they help narrow things down.