Qualitative Research: Contribution to Clinical & Community Health Care

Topics: Scientific method, Qualitative research, Quantitative research Pages: 8 (2659 words) Published: March 16, 2009

Qualitative research is a branch of social sciences in which the research method is used with different approaches to interpret or understand various phenomena in a naturalistic way. The research method has a holistic approach in which, knowledge about a particular phenomena is gathered from different people’s experiences and is integrated to form a rich data in order to enlighten an in depth understanding of the subject matter. (Creswell, 2007) The participants involved in qualitative research need to be representative to the general population involved in the subject matter. It requires a great deal of empathy and rapport by forming questions within a context. (Creswell, 2007), (Speziale & Carpenter, 2007) There are countless researches conducted in the area of healthcare regions, for the benefit of clinicians and/or patients. The researches aid in gaining an understanding of experiences, problems, views, patterns etc of clinicians or the general population in the community in relation to health. There are five philosophical assumptions in qualitative research that an inquirer needs to make, as mentioned in (Creswell, 2007). These assumptions have different characteristics and are associated with different practices. The researcher needs to carefully mind reality as it is subjective and can be different from one individual to another, this is called ontological assumption. The second one is epistemological, which looks at the relationship between the researcher and the research itself. This helps in understanding the phenomena better but also requires being cautions not to be biased. (Creswell, 2007) The third assumption is axiological, in which the researcher puts out own preconception about the subject matter as it always the case in which a certain amount of bias might be present. Rhetorical is the fourth assumption mentioned and looks at how the research is narrated in a literary way to some extent. The final one is methodological, in which the researcher identifies the context of the study and makes changes to questions as the research goes on, to obtain a better understanding. (Creswell, 2007)

Qualitative & Quantitative Research: Narration Vs Figures
I.The Truth: One or Multiple?
The method which goes hand in hand with qualitative research is quantitative research method. Even though the differences between these two research methods are quite immense, one method can support the other method to gain an in depth understanding or knowledge about a subject matter. In quantitative research, a researcher tries to measure one reality. For instance, by using statistical methods he/she tries to analyse if a + b equals to c, or the relationship between a & c. It simply tries to look for facts or relationships to prove validity. On the other hand, in qualitative research, the researchers tend to look at multiple realities. This is because individuals tend to experience or understand a phenomena in various ways. The concept is to understand and summarise issues related to a phenomena fully by looking at many truths from different peoples’ point of views, and it is based on adapting knowledge from experience. (Speziale & Carpenter, 2007) II.Paint a Holistic Picture

Inductive and deductive reasoning processes are used for qualitative and quantitative research methods respectively. Inductive reasoning in qualitative research looks at the details of experiences of a phenomenon and tries to progress to a more general picture. For instance, a researcher can do this by interviewing a group of interest and understand their experience regarding a particular phenomena and attempt to “paint a picture” by incorporating their responses as a whole. (Speziale & Carpenter, 2007), Whereas, deductive reasoning progresses from a more general picture to a specific one. For instance, by formulating a general hypothesis, one can study if a particular interest is proved by the hypothesis or not, and if so tries to...

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