Critiquing Quantitative, Qualitative, or Mixed Methods Studies
Researchers use different research methods to collect and analyze information and thereafter come up with a conclusion or a recommendation about a certain phenomenon. Different research methods may lead to differing conclusions on the same research. Furthermore, they have both their advantages and disadvantages. This paper presents a critique of two journal articles in which the authors utilize qualitative and quantitative research approach in making conclusions in their studies.
The quantitative research uses closed questionnaires that are distributed to a sample of 300 nurses including student nurses. The design of the questionnaires followed the information and data collected in the literature review about the occurrence stress and eustress in nursing students in different nursing schools. This information was useful in designing the questionnaires because the research had already prior knowledge on the rate of occurrence of stress among nurses in many health care centers. The researcher wanted to establish whether stress emanated from the schools where nurses were trained. The secondary knowledge was instrumental in formulating the information collection tools. It enabled the researchers to be acquainted with the changes in their quantitative research.
The use of a Likert-scale is an indication that the researchers ensured that the questions were closed. This enabled them collect only the relevant information. However, the method never allowed the respondents the opportunity to explain their answers. The rationale that the researchers had for using qualitative approach was that the nurses would easily find it simple to answer questions that have only multiple choices rather than those that required them to explain their answers. The respondents were drawn from health care centers that had a high number of patients which means that they were likely to be undergoing stress. The need to calculate the results using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, and analyze using One-sample T-test, Kruskal-Wallis and Tukey test in SPSS software also formed the rationale of using the qualitative approach in the study. Several studies were also done with different respondents and the results from each study analyzed to come up with the average recommendations (Edwards, Staniszewska &Crichton, 2004).
The second journal article is about ways in which patients report their satisfaction with healthcare services. Here, the researchers used a quantitative approach in the collection of the information about the rating of service delivery in hospitals by patients. The first difference was that this research used a larger sample of respondents and was done over a longer period. This is unlike the first article that was the research was done in short time. The use of a mix of semi-structured and structured questions was instrumental in collecting qualitative data as it gave the researcher a chance to seek clarifications on what some of the respondents were implying. The rationale for adapting a quantitative approach to the collection of data by the researchers was informed by a number of reasons, among them the need to have clarified information as to how different patients reacted to the services in the health institution (Gibbons, Dempster & Moutray, 2008).
Finally, from the analysis of the two journals, it is evident that quantitative research employs many scientific tools to collect and analyze data that is collected from the respondent. This is unlike the qualitative approach of research. This makes it to be considered less scientific in its approach to data collection. However, it is important to consider the scientifically formulated data collection tools such as questionnaires and insightful analysis of the collected data. It might bring in an element of scientific analysis even though it is not as explicit as in quantitative approach where computer software such as SPSS could be employed to analyze the data (Lapan,Â Quartaroli &Â Rieme, 2011).