Qualitative Health Research

Qualitative Research Designs
For the past 2 weeks, you have focused on the features and considerations of quantitative
research designs. However, quantitative designs are not appropriate for all research
questions. Perhaps you are concerned with how patients react when confronted with
negative test results, or you wish to study how views on a certain health topic change over
time. In each of these cases, the emphasis is more on understanding the thinking and
experiences of an individual or group than on numerical measurements. For these types of
questions, a qualitative or mixed methods research design is the most appropriate.
For this Discussion, you focus on the different types of qualitative research designs, when
they are used, and why they are important.
To prepare:
�Reflect on the comments made by Dr. Mauk in this week’s media presentation on the
value of qualitative research in nursing.
�Locate the journal Qualitative Health Research in the Sage Premier 2010 database in the
Walden Library.
�From this journal, select an article of interest to you that was published within the last 3
years.
�Review the information on different qualitative research designs in Chapter 20 of your
course text.
�Determine what qualitative research design was used in your selected article and
evaluate whether it was the best choice.
�Consider ethical issues involved in the study and how the researchers addressed them.
�Think about how using a quantitative design would have affected the type of data
gathered.
Post on or before Day 3 an APA citation for the article that you selected and provide a brief
summary of the content and the qualitative research design used. Evaluate the
appropriateness of the design, and explain how ethical issues in the study were addressed.
Analyze how the study would have been different if a quantitative design had been used.
Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2012). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for
nursing practice (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott
Williams & Wilkins.
Chapter 20, “Qualitative Research Design and Approaches”
This chapter introduces qualitative research designs. It provides an overview of the
different types of qualitative research and then describes each one in greater detail,
outlining how and when they should be used.
�Houghton, C. E., Casey, D., Shaw, D., & Murphy, K. (2010). Ethical challenges in
qualitative research: Examples from practice. Nurse Researcher, 18(1), 15-25.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
This article explores ethical challenges associated with qualitative research. Specifically,
the authors examine the challenges of informed consent procedures, the researcher-
participant relationship, risk-benefit ratio, confidentiality, and the dual role of the nurse-
researcher.
�Pringle, J., Hendry, C., & McLafferty, E. (2011). Phenomenological approaches:
Challenges and choices. Nurse Researcher, 18(2), 7-18.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGNS 2
This article examines the dilemmas faced by a researcher looking for appropriate methods
and approaches for investigating the experiences of stroke survivors. In addition, this
article reviews the challenges of using phenomenology as a research method.
�Ryan-Nicholls, K. D., & Will, C. I. (2009). Rigour in qualitative research: Mechanisms
for control. Nurse Researcher, 16(3), 70-85.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
The authors of this article provide recommendations for improving the control
mechanisms of methodological rigor in qualitative research methods. The text establishes
the basis of criticism on the rigor of qualitative work, ways of demonstrating
methodological rigor, and the definition of rigor.
�Smith, J., Bekker, H., & Cheater, F. (2011). Theoretical versus pragmatic design in
qualitative research. Nurse Researcher, 18(2), 39-51.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
This article assesses the benefits of using a generic qualitative approach to design studies
for understanding user and caregiver perspectives. The authors assess these benefits in the
context of a qualitative study that focused on parents’ experience of living with children
with hydrocephalus.
�Walker, W. (2011). Hermeneutic inquiry: Insights into the process of interviewing. Nurse
Researcher, 18(2), 19-27.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
This article examines the process of interviewing from a research perspective. The authors
supply personal and theoretical insights into using the research interview, along with a
guide to the practicalities of interviewing.
�Williamson, K. M. (2009). Evidence-based practice: Critical appraisal of qualitative
evidence. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 15(3), 202-207.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
This article highlights the importance of qualitative evidence to mental health clinicians.
The author stresses that critically appraising evidence is crucial to the EBP process and
provides guidelines for appraisal.
�Wuest, J. (2011). Are we there yet? Positioning qualitative research differently.
Qualitative Health Research, 21(7), 875-883.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
This article focuses on the shifting role of qualitative research in the past two decades. The
author discusses the merits and detriments of concrete distinctions, the hurdles of
flexibility and convergence, and the need to develop a complete research toolbox for
improving health.
Media
�Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012l). Qualitative and mixed methods
research designs. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 8 minutes.
This video features Dr. Kristen Mauk’s overview of how she applied qualitative research
designs and methods to her doctoral dissertation work. Dr. Mauk explains the advantages
of qualitative research as well as strategies for increasing credibility when conducting
qualitative or mixed methods research.

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGNS 3

Qualitative Research Designs

Researchers use different qualitative designs to conduct various studies. The reasons for
the use of specific designs vary depending on various reasons. In the study, ‘Family member’s
perceptions of the nursing bedside handover’ by Tobiano, Chaboyer and McMurray (2012), the
researcher explores on the perceptions of families about the shift-to-shift bedside handover. In
the study, three major themes were evident and included understanding the situation, interacting
with the nursing staff, and finding value.
The qualitative design adopted in the study was case study. It was a single case study as
data from individual members represented the mini-cases that were analyzed. The case was
bound by situation and place, the context being rehabilitation ward. The design is appropriate
because, it enhanced in-depth understanding of the experiences of the family members’
perception. It also allowed in-depth description of the feelings and views of the family members
through semi-structured and audiotaped.
Some ethical issues that manifested in the study included informed consent and
confidentiality of the information. The researchers however considered these issues by seeking
approval from the University and Human research unit committees of the hospital to conduct the
study. Furthermore, all the participants were informed about the research and the purpose of the
study and as well signed consent forms. The issue of holding information received confidential
was however, not addressed.
If a quantitative study would have been used, it would have affected the study results. In
this case, the experiences and feelings of the family members or the participants would not have

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGNS 4
been quantified hence causing a misunderstanding. Quantitative design is more concerned about
numerical measurements and the data collected would not better help to establish the feelings
and perceptions of the participants.

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGNS 5

Reference

Tobiano, G., Chaboyer, W., & Mcmurray, A. (2013). Family members’ perceptions of the
nursing bedside handover. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 22(1/2):192-200.

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