ritiquing 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. 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 weeks 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 below.

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.

As you complete this Assignment, remember to:

Submit your paper to Grammarly and Turnitin through the Walden Writing Center. Based on the Grammarly and Turnitin reports, revise your paper as necessary.

Level of competencies among healthcare nurses

Various researchers in healthcare use different types of researches to conduct their research such as qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods. This discussion is a critique of two articles that adapt to qualitative and quantitative research methods addressing them on the level of competencies of the public health nurses serving in various setting.

Qualitative research methods study subjects that are hard to quantify and it is an inductive based research as it evaluates general proposition derived from specific example (Bryman, 2006).   Gathering of data is through interviews, observation, and content analysis. On the other hand, quantitative methods take a deductive approach since are based on reason and logical analysis of the facts that are already available.  Most of data is numerical (St. Mary University of Minnesota. 2013).  In both research methods, the researcher follows a certain structure.

One of the studies is about public health nursing competency in various settings. This qualitative research aimed to assess level of competency among public health nurses in Idaho.  The sample includes 124 PHNs and 30 from leadership roles (Bigbee, Otterness & Gehrke, 2010).  Structure interviews were conducted and participants provided their self-ratings in the 8 domain of public health competencies.   Results reveled that there was relationships between the duration of professional experience with the level of competency. Those in leadership positions however were found to have more experience.  The recommendations reached were to put more emphasis in domain perceived to have lowest competency.  This is the critique of this qualitative research study.  The researcher provides the research issues and the purpose in the introduction. Furthermore, researchers’ pre understanding about the area of study is provided in the introduction. Literature review is not provided as information about the topic is provided in the background section of the study.  There is no synthesis of information in this section. The research has no theoretical framework on which it is based on.  The participants were public health nurses serving in rural setting. The sampling strategy was simple random and this was appropriate because it was representation. Participants were not protected because of the nature of the research study.  The research design adopted was modeled form previous research.  Data was collected through structured interviews.  Data generated was credible because it came from the respondents. Data was analyzed using ANOVAS and Independent t-test.  Significance level of p<0.05 was used to ensure that it was accurate. The findings indicated that competency of nurse was related to the duration of serving as a nurse and those in leadership positions were more competence. In discussions of the findings, these findings were expected and were replicated in other previous studies.  The limitation reported was that there was limited time to conduct the study.  Conclusions made are warranted because they relate to the study. The recommendation for further studies  on the framework of these competency  is  important in eliciting more information,  this research  can therefore be utilized min my nursing practice to  inform me  on my levels of competencies to provide quality services.

In this second article “short hospital stays and new demands for nurse competencies” the researchers, major purpose was to assess the level of competencies among the Funnish nurses and their actual use of the ambulatory surgery (Niina et al. 2012). The design used was cross-sectional descriptive coupled with electronic method of data collection using Nurse Competence Scale. Statistical methods were also use in analysis of data. Even though there were significant relationship between  the level of  competence and work experiences, age, work rotation and permanent position,  the findings showed that  patient centered education and ensuring of patients well being  and safety  were the most important competencies. Therefore, it was prudent for the managers to intervene and increase nurses competencies in the area. This quantitative study adhered to various factors in the study. It has   research problem it wanted to find a solution.  Hypotheses adopted were that competencies are required in short, hospital says especially in ambulatory surgery. Literature review provided is not supported by personal opinion. There is no theoretical framework while the population used was 84.  The method of sampling was representation. Participants were protected from exposure. Data collection was done using   electronic NCS questionnaire. Nurse competence was measured by NCS 73 item instrument. Data analysis was done using SPSS for windows 14.0 software and the statistical significance was set at p<0.05. Enough information was provided to interpret the results.  Discussion of findings was labor related to the study framework. The limitation reported was use of small sample.  The conclusion has implications as well as the recommendations in future. They also affect my practice as a nurse in understanding the level of competencies to handle ambulatory surgery.

 There were some similarities as well differences in information from these two studies.  Some of the similarities are that, they all had a purpose statement or rsesearcch question that the authors were investigating. They also had literature reviews that incorporated information from    various studies but did not have anecdotal. Furthermore, conceptual framework was not available in the two studies. They employed different research designs and both had limitations, conclusions, and recommendations. Regardless of these divergences, the two articles are credible because, they all were systematically and used systematic methods of data collection.

Both of the research methods used in the study has advantages and disadvantages.  One of the advantages of the two methods is that, they have a conclusion which can be used by the health practitioners to improve their service delivery.  They provide information for nurses on the need to acquire more education and skills to be competent. The disadvantage of qualitative method is that it prone to subjectivity which may impair the result findings.  On the other hand, the disadvantage of quantitative method is that it is complex to understand because of the complex statistical method of analyzing data. For instance, the quantitative study used SPSS  which requires people that do understand how it works to use it effectively.

 The contrast in the information generated from these two studies is that, the qualitative study findings were that, the longer the nurse works and holds leadership position the more experience they have. While the quantitative research study findings were that, most of the nurses in short stays such as ambulatory surgery are more competence. Further, it recommended the need for such nurse to acquire more education to be competence to provide quality healthcare.

Claim that qualitative research is not science on the ground that its general characteristics    have remained poorly understood and its potential has been underdeveloped.  Furthermore, its methodology questions the value and dependence on small sample sizes that makes or renders it incapable of generalizing conclusions (Nastasi, & Schensul, 2005). Qualitative research also utilizes subjective procedures, which makes it weak and unreliable, as the findings in one location may not be applicable to another locations’ because of the human behavior influence (Nastasi, & Schensul, 2005). Regardless of criticism on qualitative research, it can help to achieve the goals of study in a particular situation (Bradley, 1993). Likewise, quantitative research has higher level of credibility and is useful in studies involving large number of people. It also provides precise, quantitative and numerical data that enhances understanding. Therefore, these two methods of research are important in nursing and any other field as they help o provide insights to the various phenomena through hypothesis testing and formulation.

In conclusion, nursing is an important field in the provision of health services. Research is very important in ensuring that nurses keep abreast with the new changing trends in the field of healthcare. Qualitative research and quantitative research methods or mixed methods are essential in ensuring that knowledge is improved and skill is improved to improve quality of healthcare. Understanding the different aspects of the research method is vital to ensuring that research achieves its objectives.  Both of the research methods can be combined into mixed method to improve on their reliability and credibility.


Bigbee, J., Otterness, N., & Gehrke, P. (2010). Public Health Nursing Competency in a    Rural/Frontier State,  Public Health Nursing, 27(3): 270-276.

Bradley, J. (1993). Methodological issues and practices in qualitative research, Library     Quarterly, 63, 431-449.

Bryman, A. (2006). Integrating quantitative and qualitative research: How is it done? Qualitative             Research, 6(1), 97-113.

Nastasi, B. K., & Schensul, S. L. (2005). Contributions of qualitative research to the validity of    intervention research. Journal of School Psychology, 43, 177-195.

Niina, H et al. (2012).  Short hospital stays and new demands for nurse competencies,       International Journal of Nursing Practice, 18(5): 501-508

St. Mary University of Minnesota. (2013). Qualitative vs. Quantitative research.