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Qualitative, quantitative, and outcomes research Essay

1. What are the main differences among qualitative, quantitative, and outcomes research? Under what circumstances is each type of research most appropriate? Support your answers with specific examples. Qualitative research is used to give meaning to life experiences and conditions. It’s an individual approach and logical. It is “interpretive, humanistic, and naturalistic and is concerned with understanding the meaning of social interactions by those involved”(Burns & Grove, 2011). Qualitative research is most appropriate when conducting research to promote understanding of human experiences and circumstances and develop theories that describe these experiences.

Qualitative research seems to be an effective method of investigating human emotional responses. An example would be interviewing 100 elderly patients to find out what their main health concerns are. Quantitative research “is a formal, objective, systematic process in which numerical data are used to obtain information about the world”(Burns & Grove, 2011). Quantitative data is any data that is in numerical form such as statistics, percentages, etc. An example of this would be determining the rate of a DVT in post-op patients.

Outcomes research focuses on the outcomes of care for the patient. It requires four areas to examine including: patient responses to nursing care, improvements in physical functions, healthcare financial service outcomes, and patient’s overall satisfaction with staff, nursing care and services. This research is most appropriate when doing research on improving quality of care(Burns & Grove, 2011). An example would be doing research on what ice pack is most effective, easy for the patient to use and still cost effective.

Burns, N., & Grove, S. K. (2011). Understanding nursing research: Building an evidence-based practice (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.


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