Critiquing Quantitative, Qualitative, or Mixed Methods Studies

Application: Critiquing Quantitative, Qualitative, or Mixed Methods Studies
Critiquing the validity and robustness of research featured in journal articles provides a
critical foundation for engaging in evidence-based practice. In Weeks 5 and 6, you explored
quantitative research designs. In Week 7, you will examine qualitative and mixed methods
research designs. For this Assignment, which is due by Day 7 of Week 7, you critique a
quantitative and either a qualitative or a mixed methods research study and compare the
types of information obtained in each.
To prepare:
�Select a health topic of interest to you that is relevant to your current area of practice
and that is different from your Course Project.
�Using the Walden Library, locate two articles in scholarly journals that deal with your
topic. One article should utilize a quantitative research design while the other should utilize
either a qualitative or a mixed methods design.
�Locate the following documents in this week’s Learning Resources to access the
appropriate templates, which will guide your critique of each article:
?Critique Template for a Qualitative Study
?Critique Template for a Quantitative Study
?Critique Template for a Mixed-Methods Study
�Consider the fields in the templates as you review the information in each article.
�Begin to draft a paper in which you analyze the two research approaches as indicated
�Reflect on the overall value of both quantitative and qualitative research. If someone
were to say to you, “Qualitative research is not real science,” how would you respond?
To complete this Assignment:
�Complete the two critiques using the appropriate templates.
�Write a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following:
Contrast the types of information that you gained from examining the two different
research approaches in the articles that you selected.
Describe the general advantages and disadvantages of the two research approaches
featured in the articles. Use examples from the articles for support.
Formulate a response to the claim that qualitative research is not real science. Highlight
the general insights that both quantitative and qualitative studies can provide to


researchers. Support your response with references to the Learning Resources and other
credible sources.
The two articles I like are
Spousal involvement in CPAP adherence among patients with obstructive sleep anpea.
Kelly Glazer Baron & Timothy W. Smith & Cynthia A. Berg & Laura A. Czajkowski &
Heather Gunn & Christopher R. Jones
Reishtein, J., Pack, A., Maislin, G., Dinges, D., Bloxham, T., & George, C. G. (2006).
Sleepiness and Relationships In Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Issues in Mental Health Nursing
, 319-330.
Of the two one is quantitative and the other is qualitative.
D’Ambrosio, C., Bowman, T., & Mohsenin, V. (1999). Quality of life in patients with
obstructive sleep apnea: effect of nasal continuous positive airway pressure. Chest, 123-129.
McFayden, T. A., Espie, C., McArdle, N., Douglas, N., & Engleman, N. (2001). Controlled,
prospective trial of psychosocial function before and after continuous positive airway
pressure therapy. European Respiratory Journal, 99-1002.
Nursing Theory. (2013). Hildegard Peplau Theory.
Reishtein, J., Pack, A., Maislin, G., Dinges, D., Bloxham, T., & George, C. G. (2006).
Sleepiness and Realtionships In Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Issues in Mental Health Nursing
, 319-330.

A critic of Qualitative and Qualitative Research Methods

Quantitative research, also known as empirical research, can be described as a systematic
process that is used to collect and analyze data or information measured by an instrument. The
instruments are tools used to convert the information into numbers which then make it possible
and easier to analyze information. It therefore only studies the phenomena that can be
numerically represented for statistical analysis (Langford, 2000). This kind of research is based
on phenomenon that can be accurately measured.


Qualitative research on the other hand focuses on qualities of a subject matter that are not
measured in terms of amount, frequency, or quantity. This type of research is based on
phenomena that cannot be accurately and precisely measured. Qualitative research methods
involve observing and analyzing the subject matter in its natural environment and drawing
conclusions out of it (Haber & LoBiondo-wood, 2006). They claim to gather an in-depth
understanding of a phenomenon, its behavior and what governs such behavior.
In a quantitative study purposed to determine the effects of spousal involvement in
continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) amongst patients with obstructive sleep apnea
(OSA), a sample of 31 male OSA patients were assessed for CPAP adherence and CPAP
problems in a ten-day period. The purpose of quantitative research is to quantify data and
generalize results from a sample population. In this particular study, the results suggested that the
perception of wives’ support increased adherence in particular patients with a higher disease
severity. On the other hand, perceived pressure from the wife was not linked with the increased
adherence levels on a day-to-day basis (Baron, Smith, Berg, Czajkowski, Gunn, & Jones, 2006).
In a qualitative study involving 156 predominantly male participants with obstructive
sleep apnea (OSA), it was purposed to understand the relationship between sleepiness and OSA.
Participants completed a variety of tests including a test that contains an item that assesses the
impact of OSA on relationships. A third of the participants expressed negative sentiments about
work, commented on marital problems, and even suggested a restriction to their social lives. On
further analysis, the sentiments also included embarrassment and foul moods. The qualitative
nature of this resulted to an increase in the importance of more research on this critical area
(Reishtein, Pack, Maislin, Dinges, & Bloxham, 2006).


It is thought that quantitative research is more objective in nature while qualitative
research has a more subjective nature. It is believed that in collecting, analyzing, and interpreting
qualitative information, objectivity is critical in quantitative techniques. The researcher’s values
do not play a part in the analysis of data. He has to maintain a strict adherence to objectivity. In
qualitative research, objectivity is not critical. In qualitative methods, the feelings, emotions,
outlook, perspectives, and personal experiences of the researcher play an important role in the
collecting and analysis of data. In the qualitative study above, measuring and analyzing the
participant’s comments required the researcher’s values and personal experiences to tell the
difference between negative and positive remarks. They had to come in direct emotional contact
with the respondents to be able to make judgments about the nature of their comments. They had
to be subjective. On the other hand, the quantitative study mentioned above was measuring the
relationship between wives’ involvement and CPAP adherence. Such a study had to be purely
objective since instruments and other measuring criteria were used.
Quantitative research is deductive in nature in that it tests theory. Qualitative research
methods on the other hand are inductive in nature. They are used to generate theory. Using the
spousal involvement study in CPAP adherence, a quantitative approach could test the hypothesis
that the perception of wives’ support increased adherence in particular patients. A qualitative
approach on the other hand, which tests the feelings of the patients at the time in which the tests
are undertaken could also generate a theory that the perception of wives’ support reduced in
unsettled and emotionally unstable patients.
Quantitative research methods tend to produce results that can be generalized from a
sample to the population of interest. Using the spousal involvement study in CPAP adherence, if


the research was conducted in an objective and appropriate manner, it can be generalized that
truly the perception of wives’ support increased adherence in CPAP patients. Qualitative
research methods on the other hand produce results that are much harder to generalize. Since for
example, the feelings of human beings differ and change depending on the environment and
moods of the individual, the study conducted would differ with every sample population
selected. In the study, a third of the participants expressed negative sentiments about work,
commented on marital problems, and even suggested a restriction to their social lives. If the
same sample of respondents were rounded up another day to conduct the same tests, different
results would be generated. This would be because some of these individuals may be
experiencing a shift of moods and personality to practically alter the results. It can therefore be
said that while it is easy to generalize results to quantitative research techniques, it is difficult to
do so in qualitative results.
In quantitative research methods, the basic element for analysis is numbers and statistical
information. Quantitative research uses structured data in the form on numbers while qualitative
research uses words and narratives as the basic element of analysis. Any research that is not
number related is considered qualitative research. It is also important to note here that the basis
of knowing in qualitative research is cause and effect relationships while the basis for knowing
for qualitative research is pure meaning, observation, and discovery. The research methods
selected by a researcher usually depend on a lot of factors including the preferences of the
researcher and the topic under consideration. The majority of nursing research is qualitative in
nature as it involves smaller sample sizes.


Quantitative research methods have merits and demerits. The obvious merits being that
they use statistical analysis and produce hard facts in numerical form. They are mostly used for
larger scale surveys where large sample sizes are required. With this kind of research, the results
are never certain and as a result so much relevant data is collected and compiled to analyze what
the data means. It is also advantageous in the sense that it is easier to convert the results into a
chart of graph for easier presentation. The major demerit of qualitative research is that it is
costlier than qualitative research. Qualitative research has a much narrower and sometimes
superficial dataset if the sample population was not carefully considered. Results are also limited
in the sense that they only provide numerical descriptions leaving out detailed narratives
providing results that lack the human feel and perception. Quantitative research methods are also
done in an artificial environment resulting into controlled results unlike the results that would be
generated from a natural environment. Standard questions asked by the researchers could also
lead to bias and false representation.
With qualitative research methods, the researcher always has an idea of what to expect in
the findings. Qualitative research discovers why a phenomenon occurs and how often it occurs. It
is the perfect research method to monitor symptoms and behavior in patients through
observation. Another advantage that qualitative research methods enjoy is that they have a lower
cost as compared to quantitative ones. Because they are done in a smaller scale with smaller
sample populations, they are faster to collect and in analyzing data. The disadvantage of this
method is that it does not allow for statistical data. Subjectivity may also lead to procedural
problems making researcher bias unavoidable in qualitative research. The in-depth
comprehensive approach to data gathering also limits the scope of results that the study could


The claim by classical theorists that that qualitative research is not real science comes as
a result of the belief that research, to be considered scientific, must be valid, reliable and be able
to be generalized. Validity in this context is the extent to which the research measures what it
was intended to measure. Reliability is the consistency of getting similar results every time the
same procedures are used in the experiment. To be considered a scientific approach, the
researcher should be able to apply the results obtained from a study to different sample
populations and generalize theories. However, in the nursing profession, qualitative research
answers questions concerning human responses to potential health issues (Anthony & Jack,
2009). In conclusion, I would say that qualitative research methods are just as important as
quantitative methods in providing answers to pertinent questions and providing solutions to
everyday problems and the two could be complimentary to each other.
Research that combines the strength of both qualitative and quantitative approaches has
increasingly been accepted by researchers as essential to provide a well rounded and detailed
analysis of data in a number of fields in clinical medicine. A clear understanding of these
methodologies and a combined approach to using both of these methods can help researchers get
comprehensive outcomes whenever they become appropriate (Twohig & Putnam, 2002).



Anthony, S., & Jack, S. (2009). Qualitative case study methodology in nursing research: an
integrative review. In S. Anthony, & S. Jack, Journal of Advanced Nursing,1171- 81.
Baron, K. G., Smith, T. W., Berg, C. A., Czajkowski, L. A., Gunn, H., & Jones, C. R. (2006).
Spousal involvement in CPAP adherence among patients with obstructive. In K. G.
Baron, Sleep and Breathing, 525-534.
Haber, J., & LoBiondo-wood, G. (2006). Nursing Research. Methods and Critical appraisal for
evidence-based practise. In M. Z. Cohen, Introduction to Qualitative research (pp. 131-
132). St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.


Langford, R. (2000). Navigating the Maze of Nursing Research. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
Reishtein, J. L., Pack, A. I., Maislin, G., Dinges, D. F., & Bloxham, T. J. (2006). Sleepiness and
relationships in obsatructive sleep apnea. In J. L. Reishtein, Issues In Mental Health
Nursing, 27: 319-330.
Twohig, P. L., & Putnam, W. (2002). Group interviews in primary care research: advancing the
state of the art or ritualized research? (19 ed.). Family Practice.