A quantitative research is mainly conducted with the aim of generating information in terms of numbers and statistics. The findings are usually put together and analysed to determine and explain the relationship of the numbers to the subject in question. The quantitative research format is largely the same as a qualitative research study format.
The first step is to identify the research topic. This is important because it sums up the whole research study being conducted. For a quantitative research study, it is important to be as accurate as possible with the research topic. This is because quantitative research is expensive to conduct and an error in the research process results in faulty findings. The second step of the quantitative research is to write a background to the problem followed by a literature review on previous studies on the topic. When putting together the literature review section, the researcher knows the data collection methods that have been used previously. This helps the researcher to decide which data collection methods are best suited for their research topic and objectives.
The researcher’s biggest play in conducting the study is data collection methods, sampling and analysis. A quantitative research can either have a hypothesis if it is an experimental study or research questions where by the research will be further narrowed down to its purpose (The Joint Center for Nursing Research at Ochsner Medical Center). For instance, a survey research is not experimental, therefore, it uses research questions instead of hypotheses. The quantitative research can also be descriptive, correlational or evaluation research.
The data collection comes in after the research questions or hypothesis has been written. This guides the direction the researcher will take in terms of data collection methods. Data collection methods in this case are numerical which means the questionnaire, if used, will be designed to collect numerical data. All the data collection methods will be aimed at collecting numerical data. The analysis of the data in quantitative studies is mainly mathematical. This is because the data is already numerical and the results expected should be in numbers as well. The analysis methods are determined by the size of the sample and the expertise of the research. The expertise of the researcher also determines how complicated the study can be. An experienced researcher is very likely to take on a complicated research study whereas a beginning researcher will take on smaller research projects.
Finally, before making recommendations or conclusions, the quantitative research findings are usually presented mathematically or numerically in terms of percentages and ratios as well as numbers. The statistics can also be presented in charts and graphs. The recommendations come last in a quantitative research just like in all other research types. The results have to be presented in a way that an individual whose major is not research will understand the contents of the research.
Research critique of a qualitative research on, “Nurse Exposure to Physical and non-physical violence, bullying and sexual harassment: A quantitative review.”
The topic for starters is clear and elaborate. It gives the reader a summary of what the research is about. It includes the type of research so that the reader will already know that they expect statistics in the report. The report on this research has control groups which make it easy to ensure that the data collected is well randomized to bring out the best representation. The objectives clearly states the target of study being the violence and the background as well as the origin of the same towards nurses. The objectives separate the research into sections on which data should be collected. The research was designed to fit the purpose for which it was being conducted. The sources of data were also diversified and the sample size was one hundred and sixty to represent 151,347 nurses (Spector, Zhou, & Che, 2013). The whole research study on this subject was well executed judging by the thoroughness of the results presented.
The research report is easy to read and understand. The report was also written systematically which means it has a flow. It is fairly simple to comprehend. The research is well looped together, this means that each part connects to the other well. The scope of the study was wide, it was conducted across three continents which means it was an expensive research study to conduct. The conclusion of this study is relevant in the protection of the nurses as they do their jobs. It is not easy to be an effective care giver when constantly exposed to violence, bullying and harassment by the patients and their relatives. Hospitals unlike businesses, are not places people go for voluntary transactions. This means that a nurse who gets violated by a patient requires protection from the hospital because the patient cannot choose which nurse should attend to them. Compared to a qualitative research, this research does not have recommendations. The purpose of a qualitative research study is to answer the question of how many and not give recommendations for solutions. This is another difference between the quantitative and qualitative research studies. Usually the qualitative research investigates a problem and seeks to find solutions hence the recommendation section.
The analysis presented by the study show that the nurses world-wide are exposed to violence in fairly large numbers. According to this research by Paul E. Spector et.al., a third of the nurses are exposed to physical violence, another gets injured and a quarter is exposed to sexual violence (Spector, Zhou, & Che, 2013). This analysis represents the nurses worldwide given that the sample size was well spread across three continents. The analysis can be reflected in any hospital. The purpose of a qualitative study is usually to generate data that can be verified by conducting another research on the same topic (Coughlan, Cronin, & Ryan). The quantitative research results are considered scientific because they are mathematical and are fact based. The analysis of the data in this research was extensive because it was able to compress the information gathered into a well written summary. The study was faced with limitations because previous research reports on the subject were not conclusive. Most of the studies that have been carried out before on the exposure of nurses to violence have been speculative about the numbers of nurses exposed to violence while at work and the types of violence. This made it difficult to have a basis of comparing the findings to another research.
Qualitative research study critique: A Qualitative Study of Nursing Student Experience of Clinical Practice (Sharif & Masoumi, 2005).
A qualitative research study is usually conducted to find a solution, source of problem or evaluate something. In this case it is the evaluation of the experience in clinical practice for nurse while they are still students. This research study is supposed to evaluate whether the experience was good or bad, helpful and a source of enlightenment for the nursing students. As the title of the research type suggests, the study is carried out to study and evaluate the quality. The data collected in qualitative research studies is usually worded not numbered. This means that it can use questionnaires, interviews and focus group discussions for data collection. It is also important to note that in qualitative research, the research is more hands-on and involved with data collection. This makes it very easy for the researcher to be biased as opposed to quantitative research where bias is minimal if any.
The qualitative research can have a hypothesis of a theory which at the end of the study is rejected or accepted. The hypothesis being there does not direct the research study in qualitative research like it does for the quantitative research. The research study on the Nursing Student Experience was thorough given the quality of results and recommendations that are presented in the report. It is clear that the student nurses have problems during their clinical practice. Most of these students often feel that they are not up to standard and at the same time the tutors do not take their time to help students get over the feeling and learn. According to the research, the findings were majorly four and recommendations were made in response to the problems (Sharif & Masoumi, 2005). This qualitative research may be time consuming but not as much as a quantitative research.
A qualitative research takes more time in data collection and analysis because the responses are worded. It can be made easy by using closed ended questions but this locks out clarification. When the questions are open ended, the data collected is more detailed and give the information required adequately. Looking at the report, it is clear that the researcher used focus group discussions to collect data. This is both good and bad. Good because the information collected is detailed and other issues are raised during the discussion for the researcher to consider. It is a bad method because bias cannot be avoided. There are members of the group who will concur with their counterparts yet what they say is not their truth.
The qualitative research was done well because at the end of the research, the problems were established and solutions suggested. It is important to note that a qualitative research is more detailed compared to the quantitative research. The sampling techniques of a qualitative research are many and they determine the data collection method and analysis. For instance, when the sample size is large, three methods can be applied at the same time, that is the focus group discussions, interviews and questionnaires. This will reduce the length of time required to conduct the data collection and analysis for the research.
Qualitative and quantitative research methods differ in their purpose and design. For instance; the representation of findings for the quantitative research are very different from the qualitative research. The content of the two research types are also different; the recommendations are only present in the qualitative research type. The quantitative research type is very expensive compared to the qualitative research. The data from both research types is usually soured for different reasons the quantitative research type shows a relationship between people or situations while the qualitative research seeks to solve a problem or evaluate a situation.
Coughlan, M., Cronin, P., & Ryan, F. (n.d.). A Guide to Crtiquing Research. Dublin: School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Dublin, Trinity College.
Sharif. (2005). A Qualitative Study of Nursing Student Experinces of Clinical Practice. BioMed Central Ltd.
Spector, P. E., Zhou, Z. E., & Che, X. X. (2013). Nurse Exposure to Physical and Non-Physical Violence, Bullying and Sexual Harrasement: A Quantitative Review. Tampa: University of South Florida.
The Joint Center for Nursing Research at Ochsner Medical Center. (n.d.). Critiquing a Quantitative Research Article. Nursing Journal Toolkit, 1-12.
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