EvidenceBased Practice: Research Design
Qualitative research design refers to a design that is primarilybased on exploration. The aim is to gather more knowledge on thesubject matter (Creswell, 2013). On the other hand, quantitativeresearch design is a design that is primarily based on the quantityof the problem. The aim is, therefore, to quantify the problemthrough the generation of numerical data.
The qualitative research design focuses on the gathering ofinformation that will facilitate the description of the researchproblem in a comprehensive and well-detailed manner. As pointed outearlier, the goal of the researcher is to explore and gain anunderstanding of various issues behind the research problem. In othercases, this research design is also used to uncover the motives,reasons, and intentions behind certain trends in opinions and mannersof thinking. This type of research design utilizes both unstructuredand semi-structured techniques in data collection (Houser, 2013). Themain tools of a qualitative research design include one-on-oneinterviews, open-ended as opposed to close-ended questions and focusgroups amongst others. In most cases, researchers use a small samplesize owed to the many resources and time required. As a result, thefindings of research studies that used this method cannot begeneralized to a population larger than the sample.
Quantitative research design, on the other hand, focuses on gatheringinformation that will facilitate the description of a phenomenon overa large group of people as opposed to mere exploration. The goal isto survey a large number of people by getting as many responses aspossible so that the final results can be generalized and applied toa population that is larger than the sample. The statistical datacollected is used for recognition of overall patterns within apopulation. When quantitative research design is used, as the namesuggests, the research problem is quantified (Creswell, 2013). If theproblem is not well known, the researcher is compelled to usequalitative research design first so that further exploration can bedone. Unlike qualitative research design, quantitative uses surveyfor data collection. This includes online surveys, telephone surveys,kiosk surveys, paper and mobile surveys. When questionnaires areused, closed as opposed to open-ended questions are utilized becauseis not to make further explorations but to, instead, quantify theproblem.
When searching for evidence relevant to my research question, I wouldexpect to find and use integrated quantitative and qualitativeresearch design. This is because, different researchers use differentdesigns based on the urgency of the research study, availability ofresources, costs, the essentiality of the findings and availabilityof respondents. In my search for evidence relevant to my researchquestion, I would also utilize an integrated research design. Thiswould help in eliminating the limitations of using one design overthe other. For instance, in the preliminary stages of the researchstudy, I would utilize qualitative research design because the aim isto explore and gain additional knowledge while I would utilizequantitative research design in an attempt to quantify the problem inthe later stages of the study (Houser, 2013). Besides, the manyresources and time required by the qualitative research design wouldnot allow me to appropriately quantify the problem.
To sum up, both qualitative and quantitative research design aresignificant in research studies, but their appropriateness isdependent on the nature of the study. One design may be moreappropriate in conducting a research study on certain researchproblems than the other. Their difference makes it possible tointegrate them for the attainment of the best research study results.
Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative,quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications.
Houser, J. (2013). Nursing research: Reading, using and creatingevidence. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.