Application: Critiquing Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Method Studies
Application: Critiquing Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Method Studies
For a long time scholars utilized only one research design failing to recognize the merits of other frameworks. Quantitative method that implements statistical instruments and produces empirical results was considered as the exemplary tool for proving/disproving hypotheses and generating clear and concise numerical findings. However, with the time, it was recognized that qualitative research design, which was considered unscientific, has a great value for scholars as well. The main problem was that qualitative method was based on the descriptive and comparative techniques that were unable to produce numerical results, but managed to explain the core of the researched problem (Cantrell, 2011; Metheny, Davis-Jackson, & Stewart, 2010). Qualitative method is strong in internal validity (Schutz, Rivers, & Ratusnik, 2008); it also enables the researcher to explore the root of the problem and in the combination with the quantitative research it may explain why certain relationships between variables occur. Therefore, considering qualitative framework to be unscientific is obsolete and incorrect. Nowadays, the researchers use either of these methods or a combination of both, which is referred to as mixed research design. Each of the designs is implemented according to the aims and objectives of the study, research questions and/or the hypotheses of the research.
Analysis of Articles
The main purpose of the article “An intervention program to promote health-related physical fitness in nurses” by Yuan et al. (2009) is to evaluate the physical fitness level among nurses with the help of specially-designed fitness intervention. Central problem of the research is the worsening health quality in nurses as well as their overall physical training. The researchers hypothesized that fitness intervention designed for the current research may improve the physical health in nurses. Yuan et al. (2009) did not design any research questions. However, the researchers used a literature review that focused on the previous studies in health of nurses and factors that affect its quality. For instance, several inquiries mentioned by Yuan et al. (2009) claimed that “workload, working posture and insufficient rest time” contributes to deterioration of health quality in nurses (p. 1405). Also, the researchers focused on the studies that proved fitness exercises to be effective solution to the problem. Theoretical and conceptual frameworks were drawn from the nursing and psychological research domains.
Yuan et al. (2009) applied quantitative research design and quasi-experimental framework for the inquiry. The population sample consisted of 86 participants divided into control and experimental groups, 41 and 45 accordingly. In order to comply with the ethical code of conduct, all data used in the study was anonymous and the participants were free to withdraw from the study any time, 3 of them from the control group left the research due to the health issues. The participants were tested before and after the intervention in order to test the hypothesis. Several questionnaires were designed in order to collect the data, including the initial health level of the participants, their age, marital status, and other information that related to the research. The data was analyzed using Microsoft Excel 2000 and SPSS version 12. Also, t-test and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were applied for pre- and post intervention testing. The results produced by Yuan et al. (2009) proved the hypothesis claiming that “experimental group’s physical fitness became better than that of the control group after exercise intervention” (p. 1408). The discussion of the findings emphasized the link between the previous inquires and the results generated by the study, which was expected by the researchers. However, there were certain limitations concerning the internal validity of the research and bias in the sampling of the participants. Yuan et al. (2009) claimed they did not randomize the respondents. The scholars draw a conclusion claiming that the nurses have to participate in the fitness training programs in order to prove their health. The study did not provide recommendations for future research. It is possible to utilize the study in practice, as it supports the previously proved findings in this area of study.
The main aim of the article “Factors related to healthy diet and physical activity in hospital-based clinical nurses” by Albert, Butler, & Sorrell (2014) is to assess the quality of physical health and diet in nurses. The research issue is to improve the quality of health among nurses. The questions concerned the comprehension of nurses of their health status and the actual level of their health. The conceptual framework of the research was based on the Pender's holistic model of health-fostering behavior. The literature review concerned the healthy lifestyle, physical activity, and the existing programs for nurses that promote healthy lifestyle. For example, it was revealed that very often nurses could not participate in fitness programs due to the extensive time needed for their work (Albert, Butler, & Sorrell, 2014).
The research design of the study is mixed using survey to produce quantitative results and extensive literature review to generate qualitative findings. The population sample involved 278 nurses were involved into the survey, which served as the primary data collection instrument. The rights of the participants were protected and the participation in the research was anonymous. The tools for analysis included one-way ANOVA and Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel analysis. The results proved that the majority of nurses had healthy diet, but failed to participate in fitness programs due to various reasons, including lack of time. The discussion of the results emphasized that the self-efficacy among nurses was quite high. The main limitation of the research is in the chosen site for the research, as it did not provide enough space for all respondents. The researchers concluded that it is essential to promote physical exercises among nurses for improving their health levels. No recommendations or implications were given by the scholars. The study can be used in practice, as it has valuable information on the health level of nurses.
The research methods used in both studies were valid and credible, as the entire procedure was correct and limitations did not interfere with the results of the inquiries. Mixed research methods proved to be more versatile than quantitative design alone, as the study that implemented mixed framework used more resources for analyzing the research problem. Despite the fact that the studies applied different frameworks, they managed to prove their hypothesis and answer the questions. It was possible to notice that qualitative methods are as effective and useful in attaining the research goals as the quantitative methods alone, as qualitative framework can enrich the study with the secondary data which may help the researcher to supplement the numeric findings.
Albert, N. M., Butler, R., & Sorrell, J. (2014). Factors Related to Healthy Diet and Physical Activity in Hospital-Based Clinical Nurses. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 19(3), 32-47.
Cantrell, M. A. (2011). Demystifying the Research Process: Understanding a Descriptive Comparative Research Design. Pediatric Nursing, 37(4), 188-189.
Metheny, N. A., Davis-Jackson, J., & Stewart, B. J. (2010). Effectiveness of an aspiration risk-reduction protocol. Nursing Research, 59(1), 18–25.
Schutz, L. E., Rivers, K. O. & Ratusnik, D. L. (2008). The Role of External Validity in Evidence-Based Practice for Rehabilitation. Rehabilitation Psychology, 53(3), 294-302.
Yuan, S. C., Chou, M. C., Hwu, L.-J., Chang, Y. O, Hsu, W.-H., & Kuo, H. W. (2009). An intervention program to promote health-related physical fitness in nurses. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18(10), 1404–1411.