Qualitative research and quantitative research have both made vast contributions to the field of nursing. Although these two types of research are very different, they also hold some similarities as well. When conducting a quantitative research study, the researcher is trying to come to a conclusion that is not debatable. The outcome is a matter of fact and there is no questioning the truth of the outcome. For example, the researcher is conducting a study on the breakdown of the US population by age. There is a certain number of people per each age group and there is no opposition to the outcome. By definition, quantitative research, “involves the process of objectively collecting and analyzing numerical data to describe, predict, or control variables of interest. The goals of quantitative research are to test causal relationships between variables, make predictions, and generalize results to wider populations” (McLeod, 2019).
Qualitative research is “the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting non-numerical data, such as language. Qualitative research can be used to understand how an individual subjectively perceives and gives meaning to their social reality.” (McLeod, 2019) Data for this method of research can be done, for example, through surveys. In that survey, let us ask the question of, “How do you like to celebrate your birthday?” There is no expected outcome and the researcher is not trying to prove anything correct or incorrect. It is more of an open-ended question. While researching these different methods of research, one source mentioned a strength of qualitative research that is powerful, that strength is, “Qualitative methods that allow researchers to explore the views of homogeneous as well as diverse groups of people help unpack these differing perspectives within a community” (Choy 2014) Regardless of which method is used, there are pros and cons to each depending on what the subject of the study really is and each method has contributed greatly to the field of medicine.
Choy, L.T. (2014) The Strengths and Weaknesses of Research Methodology: Comparison and Complimentary between Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. https://www.academia.edu/27908525/The_Strengths_and_Weaknesses_of_Research_Methodology_Comparison_and_Complimentary_between_Qualitative_and_Quantitative_Approaches?from=cover_page
McLeod, S. (2019). What is the Difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Research? Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/qualitative-quantitative.html