Quant Vs Qual

Topics: Qualitative research, Quantitative research, Scientific method Pages: 3 (698 words) Published: March 19, 2014
Quantitative methods have dominated conventional medical research for long. Randomized Clinical Trials (RCTs) is a typical example of this method. Quantitative studies collect quantitative data and analyze it quantitatively. They are numerical data and often involve statistical calculations. Quantitative research aims for the validity, reliability, replicability.

Qualitative methods are dominant in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) research - because this is provided, practiced and used in the community with multifactorial complex interventions (example, the need to understand patients’ perspectives) as the underpinning concept. Qualitative studies collect qualitative data and analyze it qualitatively. They are typically verbal or textual or visual observation. Qualitative data are typically collected via open-ended questions, semi-structured interviews, unstructured narrative, group discussions, naturally occurring conversations, medical consultations etc. Qualitative analyses involve describing or interpreting qualitative data. Qualitative research aims at credibility, authenticity and transferability.

Here is a simplified comparison of the two approaches.

Quantitative approachesQualitative approaches

Knowledge is limited by technologies used Knowledge is embedded in value and culture
Universal lawsContextualized understandings
Distant, objectiveClose, subjective
Causal, mechanistic explanation and predictionMeaning, understanding
Deductive-data confirms either true or falseInductive—theory emerges from data

Mixed methods research involves both collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data. This permits researchers to address a wider range of questions, to meet the diverse needs of different stakeholders to realize the complementary strengths of both approaches and to produce more comprehensive accounts of complex phenomena. Many studies have been undertaken to...
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