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Primary Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Designs

Qualitative and quantitative research designs are often selected by nurses who need to conduct a study, investigate a certain phenomenon, or test a hypothesis. From this point, the primary strength of the qualitative research design is the possibility to conduct the in-depth analysis of the phenomenon with references to abstract concepts; when the weakness is the impossibility to generalize received results because of their uniqueness and biases.

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The main strength of the quantitative research design is the possibility to test hypotheses while providing accurate numerical data; and the key weakness is the impossibility to use the results of the quantitative research in discussing specific situations and contexts.

The possibility to conduct in-depth analyses of complex phenomena with references to abstract concepts is selected as the main strength of the qualitative research design because nurses often need to receive the detailed discussion of the issue typical for a patient’s experience or for a community.

These issues should be explored with the help of the qualitative research (Donnelly & Wiechula, 2013, p. 7). In this case, the focus is on meanings, patients’ experiences, and concepts which can be interesting for nurses in the context of the specific situation (Polit & Beck, 2012, p. 516). Abstract concepts provide the background for nursing theory and practice.

As a result, it is important to pay attention to the main feature of qualitative researches which is the analysis of complex phenomena with references to theoretical concepts and notions with the focus on the situation’s specifics. The detailed or in-depth analysis became the result of concentrating on all aspects of the process or situation, and a nurse receives all the necessary information in order to develop a strategy of coping with the problem or issue.

The weakness of the qualitative research design is impossibility to generalize received results because of associated biases and uniqueness of the studied data. Thus, nurses choose the qualitative research design when they are interested in the unique phenomenon typical for the concrete individual, context, or situation (Donnelly & Wiechula, 2013, p. 8). Nursing practitioners and researchers have limited opportunities to apply the received results to other individuals or situations.

The quantitative research design is characterized by such strength as the possibility to test hypotheses while providing accurate numerical data. Nurses choose quantitative research designs when it is necessary to test a certain hypothesis and receive the strong evidence to conclude about the appropriateness of predictions with the focus on clear numerical results (Polit & Beck, 2012, p. 258). This feature of the research design is important because nurses receive the concrete answer to their research questions.

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Still, the main weakness of the quantitative research design is the impossibility to use the provided results in discussing specific situations and contexts. Nursing practice is full of individual cases, and it is rather difficult to discuss the individual problem with references to the generalized quantitative results because of the necessity to become more focused on the unique situation (Schneider, Nicholas, & Kurrus, 2013, p. 293). As a result, quantitative research designs are referred to by nurses in order to state tendencies in the area.

In spite of the fact that qualitative and quantitative research designs are chosen in different situations, depending on the purpose of the research, it is possible to determine primary strengths and weaknesses characteristic for qualitative and quantitative research designs.

References

Donnelly, F., & Wiechula, R. (2013). An example of qualitative comparative analysis in nursing research. Nurse Researcher, 20(6), 6-11.

Polit, D., & Beck, C. (2012). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Schneider, B., Nicholas, J., & Kurrus, J. (2013). Comparison of methodologic quality and study/report characteristics between quantitative clinical nursing and nursing education research articles. Nursing Education Perspectives, 34(5), 292-297.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, May 7). Primary Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Designs. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/primary-strengths-and-weaknesses-of-qualitative-and-quantitative-research-designs/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, May 7). Primary Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Designs. https://studycorgi.com/primary-strengths-and-weaknesses-of-qualitative-and-quantitative-research-designs/

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StudyCorgi. "Primary Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Designs." May 7, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/primary-strengths-and-weaknesses-of-qualitative-and-quantitative-research-designs/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Primary Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Designs." May 7, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/primary-strengths-and-weaknesses-of-qualitative-and-quantitative-research-designs/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Primary Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Designs'. 7 May.

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