The topic of qualitative research dates back to the 1920 and 1930 period that focus was on human groups. (Ailinger, R., 2003). The anthropologists, sociologists used qualitative research methods in a natural setting and from a holistic approach in the beginning. (Ailinger, R., 2003). From that point started the nursing research focused on evidence-based practice. The was the initial started of qualitative research questions. Over the years has lead the nursing community to an evidence-based model. In the next ten years of research directed the focus into an accountability in nursing research, that lead to term of evidence-based practice. This term is still very new and much to be learned and developed. It is not until the accountability, drive of the nurse to guide practice based on this knowledge and passion that evidence-based practice will fulfill itself. (Ailinger, R., 2003).
The development of qualitative research had to be formed, so many questions needed to be asked and structure of qualitative research questions began. Research methods developed to study the human and a naturalistic setting with a holistic viewpoint. (Ailinger, R., 2003). The qualitative research was the method of choice, developed into four areas or patterns of knowing. (Fawcett, et al., 2001).
- Empirical knowing- Scientific data.
- Ethical knowing-standards of practices, code of ethics, philosophies of nursing.
- Personal knowing-autobiographical stories.
- Aesthetic knowing-aesthetic questions and works of art associated together. (Fawcett, et al. 2001).
“The development of the knowing developed into a form of different ways at look at critiquing and interpreting different kinds of evidence of theory guided and evidence-based holistic nursing practice.” (Fawcett, et al., 2003). Evidence-based care has really only come about in the last decade and driven by a new culture of managed care, cost savings and educated consumers. The description of evidence-based practice is, “the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values”. (Sackett, D., 2000).
Qualitative research was used to guide the research as to the quality of the treatment. Once a quality standard or assessment is established that leads into the quantitative tools that support evidence-based practice. The leads are used as some measurements in studies and assess implementation of evidence-based practice. Researcher can use qualitative research questions to validate quantitative data. Qualitative can be used to do a study of patient satisfaction scores on care in a unit. The quantitative findings do not always correlate with the quantitative results.
Qualitative research is important in high quality evidence-based practice. When evidence-based practice is used together with qualitative and quantitative research, this works best to make today nurse visible and in today cost constrained professional environment, that is a win-win situation. Sound research must be available and the nurse at the bedside, must base care related to this and then nursing research is at its best for all parties.
Pro’s and Con’s to Qualitative and quantitative research
Qualitative-The strengths of this research was a deeper understanding. This greater understanding can be related to the design aspects, administering the research, testing and interpretation methods. The results may be more related to the quality of questions, the participants perception, feelings and expressions. (Shidur, 2016).
Quantitative-Larger sample size and shorter data collection time.
Qualitative-The sample size is small and time-consuming collection time. More labor intensive. (Shidur, 2016).
Quantitative-Takes more of a snap shot. Not as in depth. It does not look closely at the participants and what it means to them. (Shidur, 2016).
In nursing studies today both qualitative and quantitative studies are important. The numbers in the research can get your attention but the quality is what I respond to. Most times it is related to the type of research study. The qualitative is less valued source of evidence, but in nursing this is a more suitable form of research. (Coates, 2014).
Ailinger, R. L., (2003). Contributions of Qualitative Research to Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing. Rev Latino-am Enfermagem 2003 maio-junho; 11(3):275-9.
Coates, V., (2014). Qualitative Research: A source of Evidence to Inform Nursing Research? Journal of Diabetes Nursing Vol 8 No 9 (2004) p. 329-334.
Fawcett, J., Watson, J., Neuman, B., Walker, PH., Fitzpatrick, JJ., On Nursing theories and Evidence. Journal Nursing Scholarsh 2001; 33:115-9.
Sackett, DL., Strauss, SE., Richardson, WS., Rosenberg, W., Haynes, RB., Evidence-Based Medicine.: How to Practice and Teach EBM. London: Churchill Livingstone; 2000.
Shidur, Rahman., (07/2016). The advantages and Disadvantages of Using Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches and Methods in Language “Testing and Assessment” Research: A Literature Review. Journal of Education and Learning; vol. 6, No. 2017 ISSN 1927-5250 E-ISSN 1927-5269. Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education.