Quantitative research is outcomes driven Qualitative research is process driven Please offer up your definitions
Outcomes are measurable Is Drug A more effective than Drug B for people with skin cancer? Hypothesis = Drug A will be better than Drug B for treating skin cancer. Is CBT effective in treating depression? Hypothesis = CBT is an effective intervention for depression. Is there a genetic cause of Parkinson’s Disease? Hypothesis = Parkinson’s Disease has a genetic basis
Processes are explored. Relates to how you get there rather than focusing on the end result. Exploring the feelings children have about their illness – research question = How do children feel when diagnosed with diabetes? Exploring the experiences patients have of mental health care – research question = How do patients with Anorexia Nervosa experience being admitted to inpatient care? Considering service improvements – research question = What are the opinions of stroke patients of their out-patient care following discharge from hospital?
What do you think are the main differences between quantitative research and qualitative research?
QuantitativeQualitative Makes predictions about people and their behaviour and then tests those predictions. Is often thought of as an objective approach. Tries to reduce any impact that the researcher may have during the process. Makes generalisations from the results about other people in the same situation. Uses statistics to analyse the data. Interested in cause and effect or relationships between things. Starts with an open question about a topic or particular group and then explores it. Is often thought of as a subjective approach. Accepts that the researcher will inevitably influence the research process. The findings can be used to help understand other people in similar situations. Analyses words or texts. Interested in how people make sense of and understand things.
Semi-structured/unstructured interview Focus group Documents Naturally occurring recordings Observations Internet methods
John is undertaking his D Clin Psy. His topic of interest is refugee children and depression. He is currently attempting to write down his ideas to show his supervisor at university and is struggling to decide which method of data collection would be most suitable to address this research interest. What do you think and why?
The term ‘stakeholder’ means a person or organization that has a legitimate interest in a project. Stakeholders are also important in research and are those who have interest in the research project and its outcomes. They can help the design and implementation of research. Care should be taken not to just do this in a tokenistic way. Listen to the stakeholder group, give them enough information about the project so that they can actually help with it. Consider the changes suggested (O’Reilly et al., 2013)
Service users are those groups who currently or previously engaged with the service that the research is focusing on. Decision-making is an important element at all stages of the research and one that is enhanced by developing partnerships with service users. It can be useful to enlist service users for advice about the final wording or format of any reports produced from the research. (O’Reilly and Parker, 2014)
Why might it be beneficial to involve a stakeholder and/or service user group when planning, developing and implementing a qualitative research project?
The process of evidence-based practice involves four clear steps. First it is necessary to frame the clinical question. Second is the need to find evidence. Third is the need to assess the evidence. Fourth is the making of a clinical decision. (Brackenbury et al., 2008)
The RCT has become a popular choice in evidence based practice across a range of disciplines mostly among policy-making and research communities as it is considered the most appropriate approach for assessing cause and effect while safeguarding against threats to validity through processes including statistical randomisation of participants. (Hesse-Biber, 2012)
Originally evidence-based practice models did see clinical expertise and the views of participants or patients as important but in current day RCT research practice these seem to have been removed and ignored. (Hesse-Biber, 2012)
If researchers fail to take into account the subjective experiences of the participants, the intervention, the interpretation and the overall credibility of the outcomes are only from the perspective of the researcher. ( Hesse-Biber, 2012 )
In its simplest form qualitative evidence can be used to better understand the healthcare experience by providing insight. Clinical professionals can learn from qualitative research what it feels like to encounter a particular illness and use this learning to better appreciate the nature of the patient’s experience facilitating them to offer support in a more sensitive way. (Kearney, 2001)
Qualitative researchers focus on patient behaviour and how treatments impact on patients’ lives (Morse, 2006) Using qualitative research can be a valuable way of giving a ‘voice’ to participants and is particularly useful for certain types of research questions (Peters, 2010)
Arguably the evidence based movement is a threat to the progress that qualitative research has made. A possible solution is to promote the value of the qualitative aspect of mixed methods studies (Lester and O’Reilly in press)
The inclusion of a qualitative component provides an extension to the application of the RCT to naturalistic settings. The qualitative aspect facilitates an understanding of how RCT findings can be applicable to real-world clinical settings. The qualitative component can be used to harness the benefit of clinical trials and are particularly useful for further explaining the subject variation on outcome variables and clarifying and evaluating interventions in their real-life contexts. Sandelowski, M. 1996