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Comparison and Contrast of Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Introduction to Professional Research

Research is very important in the modern world as having created a lot of theories people want to have the confirmation of what they have predicted. The scientific approach to the research is very important as only in this way one may consider the theory in detail and provide strong arguments which either support or reject the hypothesis. There are three kinds of research, qualitative, quantitative, and mixed one. There is a huge difference between qualitative and quantitative research as they are aimed at considering absolutely different data, stressing on varied aspects and drawing differentiated conclusions. The choice of the type of the research depends on the choice of the purpose of the research and the research hypothesis (Tacq 2011). However, there is an opinion that mixed method approach “makes our research more comprehensive, and provides us with new directions, unexpected insights, and alternative explanations for previously established concepts” (Kalinowski, Lai, Fidler, & Cumming 2010, p. 22). The main idea of this paper is to consider two research works which implement different types of the research with the purpose to appraise critically the choice of the researchers and compare and contrast the research procedures.

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Qualitative research

The qualitative research on the problem of interprofessional education has been conducted by the group of the following scholars Melodie Lumague, Alisha Morgan, Diana Mak, Mary Hanna, Joanne Kwong, Colette Cameron, Dori Zener, and Lynne Sinclair whose provided their results in the article Interprofessional education: The student perspective’ published in the Journal of Interprofessional Care in 2006. To begin with, it should be stated that the main idea of the research was to consider the validity of the courses and to understand students’ points of view in the relation to interprofessional courses. The research is rather effective and deserves attention, however, the presentation of the research in the article is rather weak. First of all, the research paper structure is not followed that does not give an opportunity to understand the methods which have been used, the choice of the objects and other methodological issues as they are not defined.

The authors of the research under consideration start with the literature review where they have inserted the discussion of the research objectives. The hypotheses are not stated, thus the research does not prove any of them. It may be concluded that the research objective is jus to follow the discussion and to try to understand the effect of the interprofessional education without predicting any results (Lumague et al 2006). The research results are presented in a proper way. The structured presentation is seen along with the discussion of the program under consideration. Still, the research results are rather descriptive and the authors failed to summarize the discussion results in such a way that the reader may see whether the set objectives were achieved or not.

Additionally, relying on the experience of Suri (2011), it may be concluded that sampling is important in the research as it may help in the qualitative research synthesis. The connective nature of the research synthesis is really important in case when a number of items are tested. This is exactly what is done in the qualitative research under discussion. Lumague et al (2006) dwelt upon the situation from different perspectives with the same sampling, student physiotherapists’ perspective, student social worker’s perspective, student pharmacist’s perspective, student occupational therapist’s perspective, and student nurse’s perspective.

The research conducted in the sphere of interprofessional educations covers the challenges on the way of this type of studying, but the limitations of the research are not included, but they are numerous. Even though the researchers did not want to get any specific results about the rate of the interest and necessity of the interprofessional courses which was the task for quantitative research, it was important to state that the number of objects was not big and that the research lasted for a short period of time.

Dwelling upon the value of the research where the firm information is not obtained, it is important to state that the qualitative research is usually considered as the preliminary research where the information is just the consideration for the further research. The importance of the qualitative research is clearly defined by Nuttall, Shankar, and Beverland (2011) who state that qualitative research helps improve the existing means and methods of practice and learning in different fields of knowledge.

Quantitative research

Quantitative research is considered to be a deeper consideration of the problem in comparison with the qualitative one. Li et al (2008) have conducted the research devoted to the evaluation of “the efficacy and tolerability of the herbal drug, Free and Easy Wanderer Plus (FEWP), in patients affected by post-stroke depression (PSD)” (p. 841). To begin with, it should be stated that the paper structure is perfect. The abstract is presented in the required form with the brief statement of the objectives, methods, results, and conclusions. The body of the paper is divided into similar sections with the introduction and literature review in the beginning. The participants and methods section is presented independently with a detailed consideration of the objects and the process of their selection which is really important referring to the paper objectives. The authors provided the hypothesis of the research which is really important as using the quantitative approach the researchers are to know what exactly is planned to be tested.

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Considering the measuring procedure and the way the results were interpreted, the authors decided to refer to one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to make sure that the statistical information is perfectly discussed. The research design is discussed in detail. The results are presented both in a written form and in the form of the tables which are easier for consideration when one needs just the numerical results of the research. The research discussion impresses with the references to the background information. It helps to understand and perceive the results of the current discussion and understand the way the results are going to be applied in practice. Additionally, the research paper by Li et al (2008) is directed the specific group of people as a number of terminology is high,. Beinf a specific research, the authors did not apply for explaining the terms due to the peculiarity of the research problem and the lack of importance of unprofessionally prepared people to be aware of the research results. Therefore, it may be concluded that the quantitative research conducted in this paper was directed at professional filed of knowledge as those who deal with the problem and need to know the results for understand how the issue may be used in practice. There fore, it has been concluded that “the traditional Chinese medicine FEWP offers benefits in improving PSD” (Li et al 2008, p. 845) especially if the long-term treatment is applied. Still, to implement this strategy in practice, the researchers and medical workers are to consider the research results and statistical data in detail having measured the limitations of the research which have been stated. Therefore, it may be concluded that the quantitative research may be applied in practice but still additional work should be conducted with the purpose to apply the theoretical calculations to the working procedures.

Comparative analysis of qualitative and quantitative research

To begin with, it should be state that no matter what kind of the research is presented, the information should be perfectly laid out. Thus, the structure is important. However, many scholars do not have problems with offering the structured paper with the quantitative research, some problems may appear while discussing the results of the qualitative research, still Chenail (2011) and Audrey (2011) are sure that even this type of research may be structured in accordance with the rules. Returning to the discussion of the research papers based on two different research types, qualitative and quantitative, it may be concluded that the quantitative research is better presented as many rules are followed. Even though the research design of the qualitative method was not presented in a proper way (Lumague et al 2006), it is impossible to say that the importance of both research projects is important.

There is a particular difficulty in comparing and contrasting the qualitative and quantitative research projects under consideration as the information got from the quantitative research is fuller (Li et al 2008). Still, the set objectives in both these papers are achieved and even though the objectives of the qualitative research by Lumague et al (2006) are achieved, the reader in unable to get as much information as from reading the data got while quantitative research (Li et al 2008). Nevertheless, this is explained by the peculiarities of the research designs of qualitative and quantitative research approaches rather than the failure to meet the purposes of the exploration in this case (Hooper 2011; Nelder 2011).

Thus, being two absolutely different research projects and pursuing two different purposes, the research conducted by Li et al (2008) and by Lumague et al (2006) has contributed to the medical field of knowledge. Both qualitative and quantitative projects have been successfully completed and the research aims have been achieved. The layout of the information is not that perfect as it is presupposed to be, but this does not impact the research results. The importance of the qualitative research by Li et al (2008) is that it offers the detailed information which may be used for drawing decisions, while the qualitative research by Lumague et al (2006) just created the basis for the further quantitative research and makes sure that his research is necessary and will be appraised.

Conclusion

Therefore it may be concluded both qualitative and quantitative research projects are important for the scientific world. Quantitative research offers ore detailed and measured information which may be used in practice in comparison with the qualitative research which is considered to be the preliminary one in most cases. Still, each quantitative research is based on the qualitative one as quantitative research is more expensive and in most cases requires more time and only after the statement made by the qualitative research projects that the problem is worth discussing the quantitative research may take place.

Reference List

Audrey, S 2011, ‘Qualitative research in evidence-based medicine: Improving decision-making and participation in randomized controlled trials of cancer treatments’, Palliative Medicine, vol., 25, no. 8, pp. 758-765.

Chenail, RJ 2011, ‘Ten Steps for Conceptualizing and Conducting Qualitative Research Studies in a Pragmatically Curious Manner’, Qualitative Report, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 1715-1732.

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Hooper, C 2011, ‘Qualitative In Context’, Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 51, pp. 163-166.

Kalinowski, P, Lai, J, Fidler, F, & Cumming, G 2010, ‘Qualitative research: An essential part of statistical cognition research’, Statistics Education Research Journal, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 22-34.

Li, L, et al 2008, The beneficial effects of the herbal medicine free and easy wanderer plus (FEWP) and fluoxetine on post-stroke depression, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol. 14, no. 7, pp. 841–846.

Lumague, M, et al 2006, ‘Interprofessional education: The student perspective’, Journal of Interprofessional Care, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 246-253.

Nelder, J 2011, ‘Quantitative In Context’, Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 51, pp. 204-206.

Nuttall, P, Shankar, A, & Beverland, M 2011, ‘Mapping the Unarticulated Potential of Qualitative Research’, Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 51, pp. 153-163.

Suri, H 2011, ‘Purposeful Sampling in Qualitative Research Synthesis’, Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 63-75.

Tacq, J 2011, ‘Causality in qualitative and quantitative research’, Quality & Quantity, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 263-291.

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