Before embarking on a research topic, it is always important that the researcher determines the bets research design and methods to apply in their research. This determination is guided by the purpose of the study and he variables that are under consideration. In this case, the life of separation is at as to whether the research should adopt a qualitative approach or a quantitative approach (Yilmaz, 2013). Those researches that adopt qualitative approaches have their focus on understanding a particular phenomenon by collecting and analyzing evidence from the populations of target. Quantitative studies are more specific and focus on determining the patterns as opposed to gaining an understanding of the concept. Quantitative research presumes that the patterns from measurable and visible data are more reliable in explaining the concepts as opposed to the understanding a concept from verbal data that qualitative research undertakes (Yilmaz, 2013).
Al Dasoqi, Zeilani, Abdalrahim & Evans (2013) in their article focuses on making an understanding of the attitudes of the young women of Jordan in regard to best screening practices for breast cancer with a view to helping them adopt early detection and screening as measures to help curb the spread and prevalence of the illness. In this study, the researchers are not in any way whatsoever concerned about the statistical variations among the target groups but rather gaining their views on the applicability and effectiveness of breast cancer screening. Purposely, for any intervention focused on community or groups their apparent attitudes, beliefs and cultures on that particular intervention play a key role in determining its efficacy in application. The study therefore establishes that an understanding of these cultures, beliefs attitudes provides a realistic view from which stakeholders in the healthcare sector can ably develop interventions tailored to these groups. Within this study, a series of themes were developed and analyzed along which the research would peg its discussion and recommendations. These included the absence of role models for the young women of Jordan, the belief that women should not think about the breast cancer, the culture shame or stigma associated with breast cancer and the belief that cancer has more meaning of death and disability than healing, recovery and comfort. These aspects of beliefs and cultures have profound effect on the social status and the family role of these young women all where it tends to diminish the social status of the young when while also defining them as the periphery in all family roles.
The study which is based on qualitative approaches gains its data from the views and opinions of forty five young women with proven education from within the same population under focus. In the study, interpretive method was utilized to develop the general view of among young women on breast cancer and screening practices (Yilmaz, 2013). The data collection method used in this study involved interviews for the forty five participants all guided by structured and focused questions. The final deliberations that were guided by the collected views and opinions indicated that the these young women’s views and opinions as well as the immediate society’s view and beliefs on breast cancer and screening practices hold a critical role in mattes aimed at cancer prevention and management. It is therefore essential that the policy makers as well as key stakeholders always consider these views, opinions, beliefs and cultures when developing interventions or these populations of focus.
Schumacher et al., (2014) in their article explore the aspects of the consumption of low dietary foods in school-attending adolescent girls in low-income communities. The study adopts a quantitative approach in determining the extent to which the apparent problem of consumption of low intake foods by adolescent girls affects their health. The study focuses on variables that give a quantified and measurable description of the apparent problem mainly focusing on variables of weight status (obese, overweight, healthy weight, underweight) as well as quantified dietary intakes developed through a questionnaire on food frequency. The weight status was determined using the age-sex BMI adjusts which was designed to help formulate numerical data that would then be utilized in drawing up trends and patterns for the subjects and the issue under investigation. Apparently, a total of 332 participants were utilized in the study and to further back up the variable of age along the numerical structure, the average age of the participants was recorded at 13.7 -+ 0.4 years.
The results of food consumption patterns were set out along the recommendations of the core AGHE food groups for daily serves. These results were then presented in the form of percentages including a determination of the energy content of each of the daily serves which was also expressed as a percentage. Notably, these figures are a unique phenomenon as compared to the study approach adopted by Al Dasoqi, Zeilani, Abdalrahim & Evans (2013) which in all aspects did not consider any form of numerical data to draw up any conclusions or patterns. The difference between these two studies is quite evident in the aspect from which the researchers analyze the data forms. The verbal data collected from Al Dasoqi, Zeilani, Abdalrahim & Evans (2013) study was analyzed systematically from the interview responses upon which the researchers developed a subjective explanation of the human behavior in relation to the screening and early detection of cancer and the possible reasons for which the target population did not utilize these preventive strategies.
In Al Dasoqi, Zeilani, Abdalrahim & Evans (2013) study, the researchers do not focus their attention on the developing an absolute answer or absolute explanation to the apparent existence of these patterns in food consumption within the adolescent school going girls but rather showing the cause and effect and seeking a viable solution to the case and ultimately controlling the effect. Essentially, the role of qualitative research is to develop an explanation of the phenomenon under investigation without any reliance on numerical data and findings but rather an opinionated or verbal approach that unearth the cause and effect relationship (Yilmaz, 2013). In quantitative studies however, the focus is on the objective applied the topic understudy with the researchers trying as much as possible to avoid the narrowing the study to the subject matter, it seeks to explore the internal and external ascots that influence the patterns or trends under investigation. A significant set of variables and co-variables are set out and the researchers then design methods to control the co-variables during the research process (Yilmaz, 2013).
Apparently, in the study by Schumacher et al. (2014), other than just focusing on the aspect of low consumption of core foods and the narrative description of their effects, the researchers seek to develop objective opinions based on data which seek to explore the subjects (adolescent school going girls) from an age-gender and income perspective. The study does not just seek to explain the phenomenon but rather determining how each of the variables in the study affects the apparent issue, either independently or on their own (Yilmaz, 2013). In preference, qualitative research would be more appealing to read since it avoids or eliminates the technical numerical data and figures which bring out a certain level of complexity in the study. However, in terms of seeking a study that expounds on the specifics of a phenomenon I would prefer a quantitative study. Apparently, the type objectivity or subjectivity required in a study determines whether to utilize qualitative or quantitative approaches (Yilmaz, 2013). A choice cannot just be made from the ease of reading or understandability. However, it is important to understand that these two methods can be applied in the same research as mixed methods to explore the behaviors of the population from an objective and subjective perspective.
The components of qualitative research
There are five key components of the qualitative research design which determine the ultimate quality of the research. These include the purpose, the conceptual context, the research questions, the research methods and the validity of the research.
Purpose: The purpose of research generally implies that a research paper must answer an empirical question. Rather, the purpose of research determines the goal of the research and this research purpose offers the justification for conducting the study. The purpose could either be personal, practical or research based (Yilmaz, 2013).
Conceptual context: This component of research focuses on the assumptions, concepts, beliefs as well as theories that informs and support your research. It expounds on the main things that are under investigation or study and the relationships that the researchers have presumed (Yilmaz, 2013).
Research questions: These questions are formulated in the research proposal and the help explain the specific issue under investigation or what the researchers intend to understand or learn by conducting the research (Yilmaz, 2013). The research questions help the researchers to remain focused on the study in terms of the developed relationships, purpose and the conceptual concepts earlier determined while also giving the researchers a guide on the how to conduct the research in the upcoming components of methods and validity of research (Yilmaz, 2013).
Research methods: This component helps explain the actual or specific actions or techniques that will be performed by the researchers in data collection, analysis as well as explaining how these methods will help define the integrated strategy for the entire research as defined by the research questions (Yilmaz, 2013).
Validity: This component of research seeks to presume that at one instance the researchers may be wrong and thus providing a plausible framework for dealing with these potential threats to validity. It helps the readers to understand why they might actually believe in the results from the research (Yilmaz, 2013).
Al Dasoqi, K., Zeilani, R., Abdalrahim, M., & Evans, C. (2013). Screening for breast cancer among young Jordanian women: ambiguity and apprehension.International nursing review, 60(3), 351-357.
Schumacher, T. L., Dewar, D. L., Lubans, D. R., Morgan, P. J., Watson, J., Guest, M., & Collins, C. E. (2014). Dietary patterns of adolescent girls attending schools in low‐income communities highlight low consumption of core foods. Nutrition & Dietetics, 71(2), 127-134.
Yilmaz, K. (2013). Comparison of Quantitative and Qualitative Research Traditions: epistemological, theoretical, and methodological differences.European Journal of Education, 48(2), 311-325.